Amy Rodriguez Named Gatorade High School Player Of The Year

Feb. 24, 2005

LOS ANGELES - In its 20th Anniversary season of honoring the nation's elite high school athletes, Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, today announced USC incoming freshman Amy Rodriguez of Santa Margarita HS (Rancho Santa Margarita) as the 2004 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Rodriguez is the first USC girls' soccer player to receive the award.

The award, which recognizes athletic achievement as well as the academic performance and overall character of its recipient, distinguishes Rodriguez as the nation's best high school girls' soccer player. The Gatorade National Advisory Board, a group of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country, selected Rodriguez from the more than 300,000 female high school soccer players nationwide. Rodriguez is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at an awards ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

This season Rodriguez, a 5-3 senior forward, has led Santa Margarita to a 16-3-2 record with 11 goals and eight assists. Last year, Rodriguez was an All-League and All-State selection, and has been named to the PARADE and NSCAA All-American teams in each of the past two seasons.

In addition to her contributions at SMHS, 'A-Rod' is a seasoned international player as well. She was a key member of the bronze medal winning U.S. Under-19 National Team at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand. Last week she was named to the U.S. Women's National Team for next month's Algarve Cup in Portugal. There, as the only high schooler on the team, she will join former Gatorade National Girls Soccer Players of the Year Aly Wagner, Christie Welsh, Jill Oakes and Heather O'Reilly on the U.S. roster.

In the classroom, Rodriguez maintains a 3.4 GPA. She has participated in the Model United Nations program and the Santa Margarita High Theater, and enjoys wakeboarding and camping in her spare time.

The Gatorade High School Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and awards one National Player of the Year in football, baseball, softball, volleyball, and boys' and girls' basketball, soccer, and track & field. Previous national award winners include Emmitt Smith, Lisa Leslie, Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Kerri Walsh among others.

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and a list of upcoming announcement dates, or the names of previous winners, visit www.gatorade.com.

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PAST GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

Year Name High School/Hometown Status2004 Amy Rodriguez Santa Margarita Catholic, Lake Forest, CA High School Senior2003 Ashlyn Harris Satellite, Satellite Beach, FL Univ. of North Carolina2002 Heather O'Reilly East Brunswick, East Brunswick, NJ Univ. of North Carolina2001 Jill Oakes Harvard Westlake, North Hollywood, CA UCLA2000 Mary McDowell Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge, CO Univ. of North Carolina1999 Aleisha Cramer Green Mountain, Lakewood, CO BYU Grad.1998 Christie Welsh Massapequa, Massapequa, NY U.S. National Team1997 Aly Wagner Presentation, San Jose, CA U.S. National Team

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