Chaparral's Struckman earns Gatorade Arizona Girls Soccer Player of the Year honors
June 18, 2020 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365
CHICAGO (June 17, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Isabella Struckman of Chaparral High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Arizona Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Struckman is the second Gatorade Arizona Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Chaparral High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Struckman as Arizona’s best high school girls soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Struckman joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby W ambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young W omen, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-9 senior forward led the Firebirds to a 21-1-3 record and the Conference 6A state championship this past season. Struckman compiled 20 goals and eight assists and recorded a hat trick in Chaparral’s 4-0 win over Hamilton High in the state final. A three-time First Team All-State selection, Struckman won four state titles in four years with the Firebirds. She concluded her prep soccer career with 82 goals and 42 assists.
Struckman founded a local chapter of the BakPak for Humanity Club, which benefits the homeless. She has volunteered as a peer tutor, and has donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through the National Honor Society. “Isabella Struckman just absolutely destroyed us,” said Matt Smith, head coach of Corona del Sol High. “W e had no answer for her.”
Struckman has maintained a weighted 4.95 GPA in the classroom. She will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she will play soccer.
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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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. Struckman joins recent Gatorade Arizona Girls Soccer Players of the Year Keeley Bond (2018-19, Chaparral High School), Kyla Ferry (2017-18, Xavier College Preparatory), Erika Yost (2016-17, Fountain Hills High School), Kelsey Turnbow (2015-16, Pinnacle High School), Bri Hatch (2014-15, Highland High School), and Gabi Stoian (2013-14, Pinnacle High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.