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Youth Girls Jun 30, 2023

Kennedy Fuller honored as 2022-23 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

SOUTHLAKE, Texas – In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Kennedy Fuller of Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas is the 2022-23 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Fuller won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Girls Soccer Players of the Year who have combined for more than 17 gold medals and nine National Championships.

Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson virtually surprised Fuller with the news, while her family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school. Check out a video of the announcement below:

The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes athletes not just for their excellence on the playing surface, but for their commitment in the classroom and impact in their community. Fuller beat out nearly half a million other student-athletes who play girls soccer nationwide, topping the list of state winners in girls soccer who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 44 with signed National Letters of Intent to play girls soccer at Division I colleges/universities and 32 with a GPA of 4.0 and above.

“Kennedy Fuller is a once-in-a-generation talent,” said J.R. Eskilson, National Analyst for “In the two decades I’ve been scouting elite youth players, there are only a handful of players who I would consider to be her peer or her equal—both in terms of ability at her age as well as projected ceiling. Fuller is the full-package: Dynamic, driven and detail-oriented. A determined student of the game, she used her second season in high school to one-up her incredible debut campaign, producing one dominant display after another. She was surrounded by some of the best talent in the country this year and she shined, but she also made everyone around her better. An escape artist on the dribble, a magician with her passing and a scoring threat from anywhere on the field, Kennedy Fuller is ‘Showtime’ on a soccer pitch.”

(+READ: Gatorade unveils 2022-23 Girls Soccer State Players of the Year)

The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-5 sophomore midfielder scored 55 goals and passed for 26 assists this past season, leading the Dragons (26-1) to the Conference 6A state championship game. A two-time Dallas Morning News Player of the Year, Fuller missed her team’s final three postseason games because she was attending a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-16 Women’s National Team. Ranked as the nation’s No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2024 by, she concluded her sophomore year with 81 goals and 41 assists.

A member of the National Junior Honor Society and the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she has presented at local elementary schools about academic excellence. She has also volunteered on behalf of G&J Ministries, which provides sanctuary for those in need, as well as with Count Your Blessings, a faith-based retail store. In addition, she’s donated her time as a member of the White Chapel Church Youth Group.

Fuller has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. She plans on graduating high school a year early and has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at the University of North Carolina beginning in the fall of 2024.

(+Players That Impressed: ECNL Girls 2023 National Playoffs)

In addition to excellence on and off the field of play, Gatorade Players of the Year also pay it forward for the next generation. As part of Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, Fuller will receive a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners – Athlete Ally, Laureus USA, Move United, Women’s Sports Foundation and Up2Us Sports – supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport.

“The sheer size and quality of the talent pool, paired with the criteria to be outstanding on and off the field of play, is what makes the Gatorade Player of the Year award so prestigious,” said Gatorade Portfolio president and general manager Michael Del Pozzo. “It’s a testament to Kennedy’s hard work and incredible achievements that have outshined the competition not just in her state, but the whole nation.”

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports.