Illinois Girls' Soccer Player of the Year

Updated: August 25, 2008, 5:40 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name junior forward BRI RODRIGUEZ of WAUBONSIE VALLEY HIGH in Aurora as its 2007-08 Illinois Girls' Soccer Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-2 junior forward scored nine goals and passed for 18 assists, leading the Warriors to an 18-0-1 record heading into the Class AA postseason tournament regional semifinals against Plainfield North, scheduled for May 14. The returning Player of the Year as named by the Beacon News, Naperville Sun and Daily Herald, Rodriguez had totaled 35 goals and 53 assists in her career at the time of her selection. Also a returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, she helped Waubonsie Valley win the Class AA state championship in 2007, when the Warriors finished 30-0-1 and earned the No. 1 ranking in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. An NSCAA All-American, Rodriguez is a member of the United States Soccer Federation Under-16 Women's National Team.

Rodriguez has maintained a B average in the classroom. She participates in multiple community-service initiatives, volunteering as a youth soccer instructor on behalf of the Illinois Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program and PlayUSA, a Chicago-based indoor soccer facility.

"Her skill, it looks like how Brazil plays against the United States with her skill on ball," said Waubonsie Valley head coach Julie Bergstrom. "She is one of the best passers. She can play the ball to teammates with the right texture to make you look good. She makes everyone else around her look good-that's the sign of a great player."

Rodriguez will begin her senior year of high school next fall and has verbally committed to a soccer scholarship at West Virginia University in 2009.