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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Eye on POY: Iowa girls soccer

By Eric Snyder

The window on the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes 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.

Rose Ripslinger
Sophomore forward, Assumption (Davenport, Iowa)

2012 Team record: 15-0 (Class 1A)
2012 Team standing: Regular season ends on May 22

2012 Goals: 12
2012 Assists: 10
Career goals: 41
Career assists: 19

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: 2010-11 Gatorade Iowa Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Averaging 2.0 points per game this season. 2011 Class 1A state champion. 2011 Class 1A First Team All-State selection.

Emma Winstead
Senior defender, Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa)

2012 Team record: 11-2 (Class 3A)
2012 Team standing: Regular season ends on May 22

2012 Goals: 8
2012 Assists: 1
Career goals: 9
Career assists: 3

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Drake (NLI)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 0.7 points per game this season. Leads defense that has allowed six goals in 13 games. 2011 Mississippi Valley Conference Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year. 2011 Class 3A First Team All-State selection.

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.

Sarah Brandt: Sophomore forward, Ankeny (Iowa)
Alli Peterson: Sophomore forward, Iowa City West (Iowa City, Iowa)
Maggie Riley: Senior midfielder, Ankeny (Iowa)
L.T. Waggoner: Senior forward, Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)

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.