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