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.
Senior forward/midfielder, Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
2012 Team record: 11-4-3
2012 Team standing: Class 4A state semifinals vs. Air Academy on Saturday
2012 Goals: 23
2012 Assists: 17
Career goals: 62
Career assists: 35
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Texas Tech
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 2.5 points per game through 17 games this season. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team member. Amassed four goals and three assists in her first two playoff games. No. 123 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.
Junior forward, Fossil Ridge (Fort Collins, Colo.)
2012 Team record: 14-2-1
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state tournament second round
2012 Goals: 30
2012 Assists: 13
Career goals: 41
Career assists: 27
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Iowa State University (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 2.5 points per game this season. 2012 Front Range League Player of the Year. Three-time First Team All-League 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.
Karlea Fehr: Senior midfielder/forward, Green Mountain (Lakewood, Calif.)
Sarah Schweiss: Senior forward, Air Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Mary Schwappach: Senior forward/midfielder, Mullen (Denver, Colo.)
Michelle Spesshardt: Senior forward/midfielder, Rangeview (Aurora, Colo.)
Andi Tostanoski: Senior goalkeeper, Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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.