Richmond Kickers, U.S. U-18 star Katie Cousins named National Player of the Year
Richmond Kickers and Jefferson Forest High School midfielder Katie Cousins has been named the 2013-14 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
A longtime U.S. youth national team standout who most recently spent time with the U.S. U-18 squad, Cousins is a University of Tennessee commit who has shined at the high school, club and international levels. She received the award via a personal visit from U.S. Women’s National Team veteran and fellow Virginian Ali Krieger.
The 5-foot junior midfielder led Jefferson Forest to a dominating regular-season record, scoring eight goals and passing for five assists through 16 games despite missing the final three games of the regular season due to commitments with the U.S. U-18s.
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, she is also 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 is a quiet leader who lets her game speak for itself,” said Rob Ukrop, Cousins’ club coach with the Richmond Kickers. “What she does on the field—controlling the tempo and solving problems for her teammates—is so unique and special that there are very few women players in the United States with this ability.”
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.
Cousins won Gatorade’s Virginia state Player of the Year award earlier this year, joining former state winners like Brittany Basinger (2012-13, Woodgrove High School), Anna McClung (2011-12 & 2010 – 11, Gate City High School), Jenna Richmond (2009-10 & 2008–09, Centreville), Brook Chang (2007-08, Bishop O’Connell), and Liz Carroll (2006-2007, Bishop O’Connell) among the state’s list of former award winners