Legacy. Tradition. A who’s who of American sport. As the Gatorade Player of the Year program celebrates its 30th anniversary year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, fans can count many a household name on the roster of former award-winners. Over the past three decades, prep sports’ most esteemed honor boasts Super Bowl, World Series, NBA, WNBA, MLS Cup, NCAA and Olympic champions among more than 13,000 State Players of the Year and 270 National POYs across 12 sports. Let’s not forget the scores of program alumni who have gone on to capture league-MVP, All-Star and All-American recognition. Today, we’re catching up with women’s soccer All-Americans.
The book on Morgan Brian’s college career is now officially closed. After a season in which she led the University of Virginia to its first national championship game, the 2010-11 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year from St. Simon’s Island (Ga.) Frederica Academy became just the fifth woman to twice win the prestigious Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy honoring the NCAA’s top player.
Brian, the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year, joins a list of two-time women winners that includes Team USA legend Mia Hamm (1992-93) along with Cindy Parlow (97-98), Christine Sinclair (2004-05) and Kerri Hanks (2006-08).
Three men have won multiple Hermann awards, and all three are former Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year. Ken Snow won Gatorade’s inaugural Illinois honor in 1987 before capturing the Hermann Trophy at the University of Indiana in 1988 and 1990. Another Illinois native, Mike Fisher—like Brian, a Virginia Cavalier—took home 1992-93 Gatorade National Player of the Year honors before winning the Hermann in 1995 and 1996. Patrick Mullins (2008-09 Louisiana POY), who shared the Hermann podium with Brian in 2013, also won in 2012 as a member of the Maryland Terrapins.
The only collegian currently on the full U.S. Women’s National Team roster, Brian scored 10 goals and passed for 14 assists in the 2014 season, missing six games for Virginia as she helped her country qualify for this summer’s Women’s World Cup. The two-time Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year and 2010-11 Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year, Brian beat out finalists Icelandic-born Dagny Brynjarsdottir of national champion Florida State and two-time Gatorade Massachusetts Player of the Year Sam Mewis of UCLA.
Brian and Mewis are two of the 12 former Gatorade POYs who were named 2014 All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and both were joined across the First, Second and Third teams by two college teammates each. UCLA defender and 2013 Hermann Trophy finalist Abby Dahlkemper (2009-10 California POY) joined Brian and Mewis on the First Team, while Virginia midfielder Danielle Colaprico (2010-11 New Jersey) made the Second Team and Virginia defender Emily Sonnett (2011-12 Georgia) and UCLA midfielder Sarah Killion (2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 Indiana) earned Third Team honors.
Texas A&M had two POY honorees in forward Shea Groom (2009-10 and 2010-11 Missouri) on the First Team and defender Meghan Streight (2010-11 Texas) on the Third Team. Texas Tech forward Janine Beckie (2011-12 Colorado) also made the First Team, while Kentucky defender Arin Gilliland (2010-11 Kentucky) was a Second Team pick. Santa Clara forward Sofia Huerta (2009-10, 10-11 Idaho) and Seattle University forward Stephanie Verdoia (2010-11 Utah) both made the Third Team.
Gatorade’s POY influence trickled down into the lower ranks of the NCAAs as well. Seattle Pacific midfielder Isabel Farrell (2011-12 Washington) was a Division II Second Team All-American honoree, and Kristi Kirshe (2012-13 Massachusetts) made the Division III Second Team as a forward for Williams College in Massachusetts.
To see the legacy for yourself, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year winner archive, where you can relive history and see which future stars won their first national recognition as high school athletes. To see the cream of the crop, visit the roster of Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year winners, showcasing Gatorade’s top male and female National Player of the Year honoree, selected annually from each POY class.