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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Illinois Girls Soccer POY: Courtney Raetzman

By Ben Rohrbach

A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring's Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 27 fellow Gatorade State Spring Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 22 Gatorade State Fall Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Courtney Raetzman

THE BASICS

School: Conant (Hoffman Estates, Ill.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-3

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Raetzman led the Cougars to an 18-3 record entering the Class 3A Schaumburg Sectional semifinals, scheduled for Wednesday. She scored 28 goals and passed for six assists through 21 games, including nine multi-goal performances. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection for club play by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Raetzman is a three-time First Team All-State honoree. Entering the sectional semifinals, she had recorded 71 goals and 29 assists in her prep soccer career.

Academic excellence: Raetzman has maintained a 3.54 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer and multiple sclerosis research and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society.

THE PRAISE

“Courtney is a very gifted player,” said Sebastian Falinski, head coach of rival Dundee-Crown (Carpentersville, Ill.). “Far more impressive about her is that she looks to make her teammates better. She understands that winning is a team effort. Also, she may be little but she plays with a big heart.”

THE FUTURE: Raetzman has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Kentucky this fall.