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Youth Boys May 26, 2016

Ella Stevens named Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

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LOGANVILLE, Ga. (Via Gatorade) – In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has announced Ella Stevens of Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) as its 2015-16 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Stevens was surprised with the news at school by ESPN analyst and former MLS MVP Taylor Twellman.

“Ella really deserves to be this year’s Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year because she symbolizes everything the award stands for,” said Twellman. “Not only has Ella impressed on the field, but she’s also a good student and is a positive influence in the community. I’m excited to follow her career at Duke and see what she will accomplish in the future.”

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 Stevens as the nation’s best high school girls soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Stevens from nearly 375,000 high school girls soccer players nationwide. She is now a finalist for the Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

+Read: Gatorade Girls Soccer State Players of the Year announced for 2015-2016

The returning Gatorade State Player of the Year scored 25 goals and passed for 11 assists this past season, leading the Rams (14-4) to the second round of the Class AAAAAA state tournament.

A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s Team during its successful World Cup qualifying campaign in December, 2015, Stevens is a two-time Gwinnett Daily Post All-County selection. The 5-foot-9 senior midfielder and forward concluded her prep soccer career with 74 goals and 84 assists.

Stevens has maintained a weighted 3.62 GPA in the classroom. A self-taught guitarist and pianist, she has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of multiple community-service initiatives through her church youth group.

“It would be difficult to imagine a more simultaneously versatile and creative central midfielder in the country than Ella Stevens,” said Will Parchman, a writer/editor for TopDrawerSoccer.com. “The superstar prospect possesses preternatural vision, and her passing ability makes her one of the top midfield distributors poised to hit college soccer this fall. There’s no question that if you want to craft a lineup that can control the run of play, Stevens is one of those players you build around.”

Stevens has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Duke University this fall.

+Read: Lucas Mendes named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year

“Ella embodies everything we look for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient,” said Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley. “In addition to being one of the best high school girls soccer players in the country, Ella 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 Columbiaand 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:

  • Two-time Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning
  • 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
  • Four-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
  • Silver Medalist and Pro Beach Volleyball Player April Ross
  • Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

YEAR

NAME

HIGH SCHOOL

STATUS

2015-16

Ella Stevens

MF/F

Loganville, GA

High School Senior

2014-15

Mallory Pugh

F

Highlands Ranch, CO

Real Colorado/ US Nat Team

2013-14

Katie Cousins

F

Jefferson Forest, Forest, VA

University of Tennessee

2012-13

Morgan Andrews

F

Milford, Milford, NH

Univ. of Southern California

2011-12

Morgan Andrews

F

Milford, Milford, NH

Univ. of Southern California

2010-11

Morgan Brian

MF

Frederica Academy, St. Simons Island, GA

Houston Dash/US Nat Team

2009-10

Mollie Pathman

F/MF

Durham Academy, Durham, NC

Boston Breakers

2008-09

Rachel Quon

MF/D

Lake Forest, Lake Forest, IL

Chicago Red Stars

2007-08

Teresa Noyola

MF

Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA

Mexico National Team

2006-07

Melissa Henderson

F

Berkner, Richardson, TX

Retired from NWSL

2005-06

Lauren Cheney

F

Ben Davis, Indianapolis, IN

Retired from NWSL

2004-05

Amy Rodriguez

F

Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, CA

FC Kansas City/US Nat. Team

2003-04

Ashlyn Harris

GK

Satellite, Satellite Beach, FL

Wash. Spirit/US Nat. Team

2002-03

Heather O’Reilly

F

East Brunswick, East Brunswick, NJ

FC Kansas City/US Nat. Team

2001-02

Jill Oakes

MF

Harvard Westlake, North Hollywood, CA

Chicago Red Stars

2000-01

Mary McDowell

MF

Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge, CO

Univ. of North Carolina Grad

1999-00

Aleisha Cramer-Rose

D

Green Mountain, Lakewood, CO

BYU Assistant Coach

1998-99

Christie Welsh

F

Massapequa, Massapequa, NY

D.C. United

1997-98

Aly Wagner

MF

Presentation, San Jose, CA

Former US National Team

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