Morgan Brian of Frederica Academy in Georgia, who also plays club for Ponte Vedra Soccer Club in Jacksonville, Florida, was named the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year. The 18-year-old midfielder was a member of the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team and took part in her first U-20 USWNT camp in January. Atlanta Beat defender Cat Whitehill presented Brian with the award.
Brian initially committed to play at the University of Georgia, but then decided to play for the University of Virginia in the fall.
“Virginia plays a nice style of soccer that I like to play,” said Brian, noting that the pressure of being the number one recruit in the nation won’t get to her. “I like to play soccer for fun. Once you think about pressure, it takes the fun away.”
Recent winners of the Gatorade Player of the Year:
2009–10: Mollie Pathman, Duke University
2008–09: Rachel Quon, Stanford University
2007–08: Teresa Noyola, Stanford University
2006–07: Melissa Henderson, University of Notre Dame
2005–06: Lauren Cheney, Boston Breakers/U.S. Women’s National Team
2004–05: Amy Rodriguez, Philadelphia Independence/U.S. Women’s National Team
2003–04: Ashlyn Harris, Western New York Flash
2002–03: Heather O’Reilly, Sky Blue FC/U.S. Women’s National Team