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

Southlake Carroll standout Kennedy Fuller was surprised with the news Chicago Red Stars Forward and former Gatorade POY, Mallory Swanson.

Stars collided on Friday when North Carolina commit and Southlake Carroll (Texas) standout Kennedy Fuller received the news that she had won the 2022-23 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award.

With her teammates and coaches by her side, Kennedy was greeted on a video chat by Chicago Red Stars Forward and 2014-2015 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Mallory Swanson, who broke the exciting news…

Watch the full video below:

Kennedy beat out nearly half a million other student-athletes who play girls soccer nationwide, an impressive achievement in the long line of Gatorade POY winners.

And her accomplishments go beyond the soccer pitch, too. She’s a National Junior Honor Society member and the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. She has also volunteered on behalf of G&J Ministries, which helps those in need, and Count Your Blessings, which is a faith-based retail store.

Through it all, she has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and plans to graduate school a year early.

Congrats, Kennedy!

High schooler Alyssa Thompson debuts on U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

At just 17 years old, Alyssa Thompson become the youngest player to debut with the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team since 2016.

Still a month shy of her 18th birthday, Californian high school student Alyssa Thompson has made her U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team debut.

Thompson subbed into the friendly on Friday against England in the 83rd minute, becoming the 70th teenager to earn a cap for the team and the youngest to step on the pitch since Mallory Pugh in January 2016.

This is just the latest of Thompson’s forays into soccer at the national level. She was the second-youngest player on the U.S. U-20 World Cup team in August. Currently, she plays for both Total Futbol Academy’s U-17 team in MLS Next and Santa Clarita Blue Heat in the United Women’s Soccer League, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Thompson broke out as a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), where she recorded 48 goals and 14 assists over just 18 games, leading the Wolverines to an undefeated championship season. She was named Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year, just the second sophomore girls soccer player to do so.

She did not play soccer at Harvard-Westlake in the 2021-22 season.

Thompson, like her younger sister Gisele, is committed to play for Stanford at the collegiate level. The pair became the first high school students to sign a name, image and likeness deal with Nike.

She told the Daily News that she intends to play at Stanford and hopes to be on the national team in three to four years.

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Meet the nominees for All-USA Today HSSA Girls Soccer Player of the Year

These 24 standouts will be honored as nominees for national Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

The USA TODAY High School Sports Awards is pleased to announce the 2021-22 All-USA TODAY HSSA Girls Soccer Team!

These 24 standouts will be honored as nominees for national Girls Soccer Player of the Year. The winner and three finalists will be revealed on July 31 during an on-demand broadcast. This year will feature top athletes in 29 boys and girls sports awards categories as well as special honors like Special Olympics Athlete of the Year, Rising Star and Play of the Year. 

All national nominees must register to provide show information and receive important updates regarding the show. To register, click on the “REGISTER” button on the event website.

Here are the nominees…

2021-22 All-USA TODAY HSSA Girls Soccer:

Sami Allen

F, Noble High School (Oklahoma) — SR

Lindsey Antonson

F, Wilsonville High School (Oregon) — SR

Natalie Bain

D, Notre Dame Academy (Kentucky) — SR

Caroline Betts

F, Christ Presbyterian Academy (Tennessee) — SR

Kayla Budish

F, Brookfield Central High School (Wisconsin) — SR

Ivey Crain

F, Pinecrest Academy (Georgia) — SR

Ami Davis

D, Yorktown High School (Virginia) — JR

Halle Engle

F, Mechanicsburg High School (Pennsylvania) — SR

Elise Evans

M, Woodside High School (California) — SR

Erynn Floyd

G, Wilton High School (Connecticut) — SR

Gaby Gonzalez

D, Staples High School (Connecticut) — SR

Riley Jackson

M, Blessed Trinity High School (Georgia) — SO

Ellie Johannes

F, Northwest Christian High School (Arizona) — JR

Emma King

F, Manchester High School (Ohio) — SR

Kelsey Major

F, St. Mary’s Dominican High School (Louisiana) — SR

Samara Nunn

M, Parkersburg South High School (West Virginia) — SR

Jordan Nytes

G, Grandview High School (Colorado) — SR

Ella Raimondi

M, Villa Maria Academy (Pennsylvania) — SR

Melina Rebimbas

M, Rutgers Preparatory School (New Jersey) — JR

Abby Reisz

G, Upper Arlington High School (Ohio) — SR

Eliza Rich

M, Lake Norman Charter (North Carolina) — SR

Ella Sanchez

M, Ballard High School (Kentucky) — JR

Sydney Watts

F, Aquinas High School (Kansas) — JR

Amelia White

M, Homestead High School (Indiana) — SR

Alyssa and Gisele Thompson become first to sign high school NIL deal with Nike

Alyssa and Gisele Thompson make history as Nike’s first high school NIL athletes.

Two California soccer standouts, sisters Alyssa and Gisele Thompson, are the first high school students to sign a name, image and likeness deal with Nike.

The groundbreaking, multiyear agreement—with terms that have not yet been disclosed—was announced Tuesday, and quickly spread around social media:

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It’s Nike’s third major NIL deal, with UCLA sophomore Reilyn Turner signing this past December, followed by Stanford sophomore Rachel Heck, who was Pac-12 Golfer of the Year in 2021.

The deals signal another progression in the NIL space for both men and women athletes, perhaps more so when considering Nike’s clout in the sports world.

As for Alyssa (a junior) and Gisele (a sophomore), both will suit up for Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles, Calif.) in 2022 and have committed to play soccer at Stanford after graduation. 

The sisters’ representation, Evan Sroka of A&V Sports, told the Los Angeles Times that they structured the deal with Nike alongside Stanford to guarantee that both would maintain NCAA eligibility.

Meanwhile, the Thompsons continue to shine. Alyssa, who started for USA’s U-20 team, and Gisele, a starter for the U-17 USA team, both earned Concacaf Championship nods in the past three months. 

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NIL education, resource platform launched to help navigate recruitment process

With variance in NIL rules state-by-state, Eccker Sports launched a platform to provide information and resources to recruits, families and coaches.

Regardless of stance on whether college athletes should be allowed to profit off name, image and likeness, one facet of the NIL debate is largely agreed upon from both sides: There’s uncertainty in the rules that govern athletes’ allowances, rules that lack structure and vary for high school recruits from state to state.

As it currently stands across the country, there’s widespread variability, with seven states permitting athletes to profit off their name and likeness, 17 states considering changing bylaws and 26 states prohibiting it. The inconsistency adds extra difficulties in recruiting because athletes must know how signing a deal that guarantees college money could affect their high school eligibility.

In Texas, for instance, NIL deals are not allowed for high school athletes. And that restriction — and potentially its lack of clarity in Texas — played a role in the No. 1 football recruit in the class of 2022, Quinn Ewers, skipping his senior year of high school in favor of enrolling at Ohio State early and signing an NIL deal reportedly worth $1.4 million.

“I do think that there’s going to be some lawmakers at some point that are probably talking about it, but it’s going to take years,” said Vandegrift (Texas) High School head coach Drew Sanders. “…Parents want to make sure that they’re not doing anything that would get them in trouble eligibility-wise … This is all brand-new for everybody, so I have really zero experience with this. As a coach, I’m not really sure where to steer them to.”

Uncertainty in the immediate wake of sports legislation is nothing new, whether league-specific like the NFL’s concussion protocol or broad, widespread changes like Title IX.

Ten months since the passage of the NIL policy, the aftermath perhaps most closely mirrors that of the NCAA’s mid-1980s adoption of Prop 48, which mandated a minimum for high school grades and college entrance exams scores. Today, it’s a standard model. But when it was passed, it was controversial.

“It threw the entire market into a tailspin because it really changed the way the NCAA ruled on eligibility,” said Randy Eccker, a longtime figure in the sports digital media and technology landscape. “It completely changed the dynamic, but nobody took the time to go in and educate the high school market on what it meant to them and how to do it.”

While the implementation of Prop 48 lacked the resources for affected athletes, Eccker hopes to lead the charge in this next wave of sports ecosystem education. His platform Eccker Sports announced on Monday the launch of an educational services platform that will target high school students, coaches, teachers and administrators with resources including video curriculum, state-by-state information, tools for coaches to educate their communities and a network of legal, financial and tax experts.

The website is the exclusive high school partner of Game Plan, a platform with partnerships at the collegiate and professional level that provides learning resources, career planning and other developmental programs to athletes.

Pricing for the Eccker Sports resource hub varies state to state, Eccker said.

“Fast-forward even 10 years and this will be a normal part of the athletic landscape and the athletic education landscape, but today, when we’ve gone in and talked to coaches and administrators at the high school level, there’s a lot of fear and trepidation because it’s so new,” Eccker said.

The need for education on NIL is more expansive than finding a deal without affecting high school eligibility. Chuck Schmidt, Vice President and Executive Director of High School for Playfly Sports and the former COO of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, said that high schoolers whose parents’ jobs take them to different states might be unexpectedly affected. Tax obligations must be outlined for athletes. Athletes and families who see a chance for an influx of money but don’t know the laws could be exploited, whether by signing with someone who isn’t qualified, agreeing to have large percentages of money taken by the agent, or accidentally signing a deal to grant likeness to a brand in perpetuity without realizing the long-term implications.

Athletes’ rights took an enormous step forward with the passage of NIL allowances. Still, the lack of structure at a national level is creating confusion and potential long-term, unforeseen consequences. Eccker and Tim Prukop, the Chief Commercial Officer of the Eccker Sports resource hub, hope the new platform can help athletes and families build effective NIL strategies.

“NIL is just thrown around how great it is for kids to be able to do that, but there’s always something else that starts developing after decisions are made,” Schmidt said. “It’s an environment where every state has its own traditions, law, state law and that culture. Education … is going to be very critical to the success of what’s about to come.”

Girls HS soccer player breaks Texas single-season record with 112 goals

Celina High School junior Taylor Zdrojewski broke the Texas girls high school soccer single-season goals record Tuesday.

Taylor Zdrojewski of Celina High School etched her name into the Texas girls high school soccer record book Tuesday, scoring her 112th goal of 2021.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Zdrojewski, who is just a junior, is averaging four goals per match and scored all seven of Celina’s goals in its Class 4A Region II semifinal shutout win over Bullard High School. Zdrojewski has scored 25 goals in Celina’s four playoff games so far.

Zdrojewski broke the single-season record of South Hills High School’s Esmeralda Gonzales, who scored 109 goals in 2016. The national record for goals scored in a single season is 130, set by Kassi Ginther of Summit Christian Academy in Missouri in 2017.

RELATED: No. 1 2021 recruit Chet Holmgren will choose a college

“There was so much adrenaline going into that shot,” Zdrojewski said of her record-breaking goal. “I didn’t think I was going to get (the record) tonight. I’d missed so many shots before, so I took it as just another shot.”

According to MaxPreps, Zdrojewski currently has 116 goals to her name this season and has scored at least four goals in all but five of Celina’s matches. Zdrojewski also has 19 assists and 251 total points.

Celina, which is 23-1-1 this season, faces Henderson High School in the Class 4A Region II finals Thursday night.

Former Kentucky HS soccer coach gets prison for rape, sending nude photos

Andrew Hatton, a former Kentucky high school soccer coach, was sentenced to prison on charges of third-degree rape and distributing obscene matter to minors.

A former high school soccer coach in Kentucky has been sentenced to two years in prison for raping a player and sending nude images to minors.

Andrew Hatton, 29, was sentenced Tuesday on charges of third-degree rape and distributing obscene matter to minors. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August as part of a deal.

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The former Estill County High School coach was accused of sending nude photos to three teen girls. One of them told police she and Hatton had sex. He was arrested in August 2018 and fired a day later.

Authorities said the victims agreed to the prison term and didn’t want to testify at Hatton’s trial. Hatton also was ordered to register as a sex offender.

FINAL Super 25 Fall Regional Girls Soccer Rankings

Check out the FINAL USA TODAY/United Soccer Coaches Super 25 Regional Girls Soccer Rankings.

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Each week USA TODAY High School Sports and United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) will release Super 25 Regional Girls Fall Soccer Rankings. Rankings are based on results from the 2018-19 season, quality of players and strength of schedule. Regions are determined by the United Soccer Coaches. These are the final rankings of the fall season

RANKINGS: Girls National | Boys National | Boys Regional

Records shown are through games of Nov. 24


Rank School W-L-T
1 Bishop Feehan (Attleboro, Mass.) 23-0-1
2 Champlain Valley Union (Hinesburg, Vt.) 17-0-0
3 Exeter (Exeter, N.H.) 19-0-0
4 Camden Hills (Camden, Maine) 18-0-0
5 Glastonbury (Glastonbury, Conn.) 18-1-1
6 Hanover (Hanover, N.H.) 18-0-0
7 Holliston (Holliston, Mass.) 19-0-3
8 South Kingstown (Wakefield, R.I.) 15-3-0
9 King Philip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.) 20-1-0
10 Natick (Natick, Mass.) 14-3-3
11 Winchester (Winchester, Mass.) 17-1-3
12 Brookline (Brookline, Mass.) 15-1-5
13 Cape Elizabeth (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) 18-0-0
14 Southington (Southington, Conn.) 17-1-2
15 Guilford (Guilford, Conn.) 15-2-4
15 Westfield (Westfield, Mass.) 17-3-2

REGION II (New York)

Rank School W-L-T
1 Monroe Woodbury (Central Valley, N.Y.) 18-1-0
2 St. Anthony’s (Melville, N.Y.) 14-1-1
3 Shoreham Wading River (Shoreham, N.Y.) 17-2-2
4 Spencerport (Spencerport, N.Y.) 15-3-2
5 Fayetteville Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) 19-2-0
6 Clarence (Clarence, N.Y.) 16-2-2
7 Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, N.Y.) 17-2-1
8 Pleasantville (Pleasantville, N.Y.) 18-2-2
9 Bethlehem Central (Delmar, N.Y.) 18-3-0
10 Monohasen (Schenectady, N.Y.) 19-2-0
11 Pearl River (Pearl River, N.Y.) 17-2-3
12 Central Valley Academy (Illion, N.Y.) 21-1-0
13 Grand Island (Grand Island, N.Y.) 18-3-1
14 Stillwater (Stillwater, N.Y.) 19-0-3
15 Poland (Poland, N.Y.) 20-0-0


Rank School W-L-T
1 Mars (Mars, Pa.) 22-0-1
2 Hunterdon Central Regional (Flemington, N.J.) 21-1-1
3 Boyertown (Boyertown, Pa.) 26-2-0
4 Ocean City (Ocean City, N.J.) 24-2-0
5 Scotch Plains Fanwood (Scotch Plains, N.J.) 18-3-2
6 Villa Joseph Marie (Southampton, Pa.) 21-3-1
7 Ramapo (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) 19-2-0
8 Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.) 21-4-0
9 Camp Hill (Camp Hill, Pa.) 25-0-0
10 Eastern (Voorhees Township, N.J.) 25-0-0
11 Montclair (Montclair, N.J.) 20-1-0
12 Pennridge (Perkasie, Pa.) 22-2-1
13 Hempfield (Landisville, Pa.) 18-4-1
14 Middletown South (Middletown, N.J.) 22-2-0
15 Archbishop Ryan (Philadelphia, Pa.) 18-4-1


Rank School W-L-T
1 McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) 16-1-0
2 Briarcrest Christian Academy (Eads, Tenn.) 17-1-1
3 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) 14-2-1
4 Charleston Catholic (Charleston, W.Va.) 22-1-0
5 Greenwood (Bowling Green, Ky.) 22-2-3
6 Mercy (Baltimore, Md.) 14-3-0
7 Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) 16-2-1
8 Ravenwood (Brentwood, Tenn.) 14-3-1
9 Brentwood (Brentwood, Tenn.) 18-1-0
10 Morgantown (Morgantown, W.Va.) 20-2-1
11 Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) 20-3-0
12 Highlands (Fort Thomas, Ky.) 20-4-3
13 Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, Ky.) 24-2-2
14 Bridgeport (Bridgeport, W.Va.) 19-2-1
15 Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) 18-1-0
15 Hurricane (Hurricane, W.Va.) 19-3-1
15 South Oldham (Crestwood, Ky.) 20-4-1


Rank School W-L-T
1 Lakota West (West Chester Township, Ohio) 22-0-1
2 Noblesville (Noblesville, Ind.) 18-0-3
3 Anthony Wayne (Whitehouse, Ohio) 22-1-0
4 Maple Grove (Maple Grove, Minn.) 17-2-1
5 Beavercreek (Beavercreek, Ohio) 20-1-0
6 Champlin Park (Champlin, Minn.) 18-1-1
7 Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) 17-1-3
8 Centennial (Circle Pines, Minn.) 16-3-1
9 Reitz Memorial (Evansville, Ind.) 16-2-1
10 Strongsville (Strongsville, Ohio) – [] 16-3-2
11 Rosemount (Rosemount, Minn.) 15-3-0
12 Medina (Medina, Ohio) 16-3-2
13 Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) 17-3-1
14 Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) 16-3-0
15 Archbishop Alter (Kettering, Ohio) 21-1-1


Rank School W-L-T
1 Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) 19-0-1
2 Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas, Nev.) 23-0-1
3 American Fork (American Fork, Utah) 18-2-0
4 Puyallup (Puyallup, Wash.) 17-2-5
5 Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho) 17-1-2
6 Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.) 19-2-0
7 Lake Washington (Kirkland, Wash.) 17-1-1
8 Auburn-Riverside (Auburn, Wash.) 20-2-1
9 Mountainside (Beaverton, Ore.) 15-3-1
10 Davis (Kaysville, Utah) 14-3-3
11 Skyline (Salt Lake City, Utah) 19-1-1
12 Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) 20-2-4
13 Centennial (Las Cruces, N.M.) 20-2-2
14 Crescent Valley (Corvallis, Ore.) 15-2-1
15 Boise (Boise, Idaho) 15-3-2

Preseason Super 25 Winter Regional Girls Soccer Rankings

The USA TODAY/United Soccer Coaches Preseason Super 25 rankings for Winter Girls Soccer have been released. Take a look!

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Each week, USA TODAY High School Sports and United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) will release Super 25 Regional Girls Winter Soccer Rankings. Rankings are based on results from the 2019-20 season, quality of players and strength of schedule. Regions are determined by the United Soccer Coaches.

RANKINGS: Girls National | Boys National | Boys Regional

Records shown are through games of Nov. 19.

REGION I (Florida)

Rank School W-L-T
1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 0-0-0
2 The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.) 0-0-0
3 St. Johns Country Day School (Orange Park, Fla.) 0-0-0
4 American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 0-0-0
5 Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches, Fla.) 0-0-0
6 Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.) 0-0-0
7 University (Palm Harbor, Fla.) 0-0-0
8 Bartram Trail (St. Johns, Fla.) 0-0-0
9 Gulf Breeze (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) 0-0-0
10 Lakeland Christian (Lakeland, Fla.) 0-0-0

REGION II (Louisiana, Mississippi)

Rank School W-L-T
1 West Lauderdale (Collinsville, Miss.) 0-0-0
2 St. Scholastica Academy (Covington, La.) 0-0-0
3 St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.) 0-0-0
4 Madison Central (Madison, Miss.) 0-0-0
5 Teurlings Catholic (Lafayette, La.) 0-0-0
6 Lafayette (Oxford, Miss.) 0-0-0
7 Loyola College Prep (Shreveport, La.) 0-0-0
8 Northwest Rankin (Flowood, Miss.) 0-0-0
9 Mandeville (Mandeville, La.) 0-0-0
10 Gulfport (Gulfport, Miss.) 0-0-0


Rank School W-L-T
1 Coppell (Coppell, Texas) 0-0-0
2 Tompkins (Katy, Texas) 0-0-0
3 Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 0-0-0
4 Ursuline Academy (Dallas, Texas) 0-0-0
5 Kingwood (Humble, Texas) 0-0-0
6 Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) 0-0-0
7 Grapevine (Grapevine, Texas) 0-0-0
8 Frenship (Wolfforth, Texas) 0-0-0
9 Highland Park (Dallas, Texas) 0-0-0
10 Allen (Allen, Texas) 0-0-0

REGION IV (Arizona, California and Hawaii)

Rank School W-L-T
1 JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) 0-0-0
2 Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos, Calif.) 0-0-0
3 Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.) 0-0-0
4 Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 0-0-0
5 Davis (Davis, Calif.) 0-0-0
6 Carondelet (Concord, Calif.) 0-0-0
7 Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.) 0-0-0
8 Harvard Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) 0-0-0
9 Academy of Our Lady of Peace (San Diego, Calif.) 0-0-0
10 Kamehamea Kapalama (Honolulu, Hawaii) 0-0-0


JSerra Catholic holds No. 1 spot in Preseason Super 25 Winter Girls Soccer Rankings

JSerra Catholic, the reigning National Champion, has kept its spot on the top of the Preseason Super 25 Winter Girls Soccer Rankings.

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The reigning National Champions, JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, California) enters the winter soccer season atop the Preseason Super 25 Rankings.

With three straight CIF-SS Div. I championships under their belt and the return of 2018-19 ALL-USA First Team goalie Ryan Campbell and ALL-USA Second Team defender Rachel Bastone, the Lions look ready to fight for their throne, even with the graduation of last year’s ALL-USA Girls Soccer Player of the Year Isabella D’Aquila.

After rousing success the last three seasons, JSerra has the depth and experience to be in position to do it again.

FULL RANKINGS: Super 25 Winter Girls Soccer | Boys Soccer

The No. 2 team in the preseason rankings is Saint Scholastica (Covington, Louisiana), who has won two championships in a row and is 42-1-6 in those two seasons combined.

The Doves finished last season at No. 5 in the rankings but have started this year at the second position.

The next three teams were also in the top five to finish last season. Montverde Academy (Florida), Southlake Carroll (Texas) and Los Alamitos (California) are listed at 3, 4 and 5, respectively.