Gatorade® National Girls Soccer Player of the Year: Katie Cousins Former Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year Ali Krieger Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

FOREST, Va., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 29th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Katie Cousins of Jefferson Forest High School (Forest, VA.) as its 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Cousins was surprised with the news at school by Ali Krieger, who earned Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year honors in 2003.

"It was exciting for me to be able to surprise Katie with the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award because she is such a deserving winner," said Krieger. "Katie is a well-rounded individual who has already accomplished so much on and off the field, so it's an honor for me to welcome her into the prestigious Gatorade Player of the Year family."

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Cousins as the nation's best high school girls soccer player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Cousins from more than 370,000 high school girls soccer players nationwide. Cousins is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot junior midfielder had led the Cavaliers to a 18-1 record entering the Conference 24 Tournament semifinals against Pulaski County High, scheduled for May 28. Cousins scored eight goals and passed for six assists through 19 games despite missing the final three games of the regular season due to commitments with the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women's National Team. A First Team All-Region player as a freshman in 2012, Cousins did not play high school soccer as a sophomore. A club Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America is ranked as the nation's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2015 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Cousins has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and plans on graduating early from high school, in December. A member of the varsity basketball team and a French horn player in the school band, she has volunteered locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center as well as cancer research. Also a student leader in her school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, Cousins has participated in multiple-community service initiatives through her church youth group.

"Katie Cousins is an amazing talent with an even more amazing story," said Sheldon Shealer, editor of StudentSports.com. "A 5-foot midfielder who can control the attack, she draws opponents, distributes exceptionally well and can be a scorer if needed. She hails from a part of rural Virginia not known for producing a lot of high-end soccer girls players, yet Katie is among the best in the nation at her age."

Cousins has verbally committed to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Tennessee beginning in the fall of 2015.

"Katie embodies everything we look for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient," said Morgan Flatley, Gatorade Vice President, Brand Marketing. "In addition to being one of the best high school soccer players in the country, Katie has excelled in the classroom and been a positive influence in her community. She is a role model for younger student-athletes to look up to and we are excited to see all the things she will accomplish in the future."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Two-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time 200-meter World Champion Allyson Felix

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

2013-14

Katie Cousins

Jefferson Forest, Forest, VA

Univ. of Tennessee

2012-13

Morgan Andrews

Milford, Milford, NH

Univ. of Notre Dame

2011-12

Morgan Andrews

Milford, Milford, NH

Univ. of Notre Dame

2010-11

Morgan Brian

Frederica Academy, St. Simons, GA 

University of Virginia

2009-10

Mollie Pathman

Durham Academy, Durham, NC

Duke University

2008-09

Rachel Quon

Lake Forest, Lake Forest, IL

Chicago Red Stars/ U.S. Nat. Team

2007-08

Teresa Noyola

Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA

Seattle Reign FC

2006-07

Melissa Henderson

Berkner, Richardson, TX

Sky Blue FC/U.S. Nat. Team

2005-06

Lauren Cheney

Ben Davis, Indianapolis, IN

Bos. Breakers/U.S. Nat. Team

2004-05

Amy Rodriguez

Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, CA

Phil. Ind./U.S. Nat. Team

2003-04

Ashlyn Harris

Satellite, Satellite Beach, FL

U.S. Nat. Team

2002-03

Heather O'Reilly

East Brunswick, East Brunswick, NJ

Sky Blue FC/U.S. Nat. Team

2001-02

Jill Oakes

Harvard Westlake, North Hollywood, CA

Chicago Red Stars

2000-01

Mary McDowell

Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge, CO

Univ. of N. Carolina Grad.

1999-00

Aleisha Cramer-Rose

Green Mountain, Lakewood, CO

Former U.S. Nat. Team

1998-99

Christie Welsh

Massapequa, Massapequa, NY

Former U.S. Nat. Team

1997-98

Aly Wagner

Presentation, San Jose, CA

Former U.S. Nat. Team

 

SOURCE Gatorade



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