Meadow Mancini named Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year
CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Meadow Mancini of Watertown High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Mancini is the first Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Watertown High School.
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 Mancini as Connecticut’s best high school girls soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Mancini joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-4 senior midfielder and forward scored 38 goals and passed for 15 assists this past season, leading the Indians (18-2-2) to the Class L state tournament semifinals. Mancini is a three-time First Team All-State selection and a two-time United Soccer Coaches All-New England honoree. Ranked as the No. 52 recruit in the Class of the 2019 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, she concluded her prep soccer career with 120 goals and 40 assists.
A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Mancini has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and referee. “Meadow is a player you have to make a game-plan around,” said Cait Witham, head coach of Woodland High. “Every time we played Watertown, we made sure to double team her whenever she got the ball. That is how much of an impact she can have and does have on the game.”
Mancini has maintained a weighted 3.46 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Sacred Heart University this fall.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Mancini joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Players of the Year Lauren Hinton (2017-18, Loomis Chaffee School), Danielle Brinckman (2016-17, Glastonbury High School), Jenna Bike (2015-16 & 2014-15, St. Joseph High School) and Sarah McCauley (2013-14, Chase Collegiate School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Mancini also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY.