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Friday, May 18, 2012
Eye on POY: Virginia 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.

Elizabeth Ball
Sophomore forward, Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.)

2012 Team record: 11-2 (Group AAA)
2012 Team standing: Regular season ends May 24

2012 Goals: 12
2012 Assists: 4
Career goals: 32
Career assists: 13

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.8 points per game this season. 2011 Central Region Player of the Year. 2011 All-Metro Player of the Year as named by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Anna McClung
Junior forward, Gate City (Va.)

2012 Team record: 12-0 (Group A)
2012 Team standing: Regular season ends May 24

2012 Goals: 60
2012 Assists: 10
Career goals: 187
Career assists: 25

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Florida State University (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 5.8 points per game this season. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team member. State record holder for goals scored. No. 10 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 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.

Caroline Casey: Senior goalkeeper, Grassfield (Chesapeake, Va.)
Ashley Herndon: Junior forward, Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.)
Vanessa Kovar: Junior forward, Forest Park (Woodbridge, Va.)
Barbara Platenberg: Senior forward, Robinson (Fairfax, Va.)
Murielle Tiernan: Junior forward, Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.)

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.