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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Eye on POY: Minnesota boys soccer

By Steve Ouellette

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys 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.

Elliot Cassutt
Junior Forward, Minneapolis South High (Minneapolis, MN)

2011 Team record: 14-3-1
2011 Team standing: Lost in sectional finals

2011 Goals: 15
2011 Assists: 12
2011 Points per game: 1.8
Career goals: 70
Career assists: 45

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-American; First Team All-State; All-Metro; Set single-season state record for goals as a sophomore.

Matthew Gweh
Junior Forward, Eastview High (Apple Valley, MN)

2011 Team record: 20-1-1
2011 Team standing: Lost in Class AA state final

2011 Goals: 28
2011 Assists: 8
2011 Points per game: 1.64
Career goals: 48
Career assists: 19

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-American; Pioneer Press Metro Player of the Year; First Team All-State; All-Metro; Scored winning goals in state quarterfinals, semifinals.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys 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.

Grant Bell: Little Falls High (Little Falls, MN) Senior midfielder
Johnny Mulvahill: Benilde-St. Margaret's School (St. Louis Park, MN) Senior forward
Mario Aleman: Spring Lake Park High (Spring Lake Park, MN) Senior forward
Adama Keita: Prairie Seeds Academy (Brooklyn Park, MN) Senior forward

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.