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Monday, February 6, 2012
Eye on POY: Ohio girls soccer

By Ben Rohrbach

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Micaela Powers
Junior midfielder, Beavercreek (Ohio)

2011 Team record: 17-2-1 (Division I)
2011 Team standing: Lost Division I regional semifinals

2011 Goals: 16
2011 Assists: 7
2011 Points per game: 1.15
Career goals: 62
Career assists: 34

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: University of Wisconsin

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Totaled three goals and two assists in four postseason matches for the Battling Beavers. 2011 NSCAA All-American selection. 2011 U.S. Soccer Under-17 National Team player pool. Two-time First Team All-State selection. Two-time Greater Western Ohio Conference Player of the Year. No. 11 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

Ashley Meier
Senior midfielder/forward, Strongsville (Strongsville)

2011 Team record: 21-2 (Division I)
2011 Team standing: Division I state champions

2011 Goals: 17
2011 Assists: 13
2011 Points per game: 1.58
Career goals: 58
Career assists: 36

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Virginia Tech

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded three goals and two assists in the Mustangs’ run to the state title. 2011 Ohio Soccer Coaches Association Miss Soccer. 2011 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year. Two-time NSCAA All-American selection. 2011 U.S. Soccer Under-18 National Team player pool. No. 23 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Katie George: Senior defender, Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
Rose Lavelle: Junior midfielder, Mt. Notre Dame (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Sarah Molina: Senior midfielder/defender, Rocky River (Cleveland, Ohio)
Alyson Smigel: Senior midfielder, Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
Sandra Yu: Junior midfielder, Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.