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U.S. U-18 WNT Player Rachel Quon Named Gatorade National High School Girls Player of the Year

CHICAGO (May 21, 2009) – Defender Rachel Quon, a standout player on the U.S. team that finished second at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and a current member of the USA’s U-18 and U-20 Women’s National Team player pools, has been named the 2008-09 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade, in partnership with ESPN RISE Magazine, made the announcement today.

Quon, who is a senior at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Ill., had an excellent performance at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, playing every minute of the five games she started at right back while successfully marking numerous talented, and much larger, forwards. Quon is currently seeing most of her national team action with the U.S. Under-18s, but is also competing for a spot on the USA’s 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup Team.

The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Quon as the nation’s best high school girls soccer player. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Quon from the more than 346,000 high school girls soccer players nationwide. Quon is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-feet-3-inch tall defender had recorded 15 goals and 10 assists for Lake Forest High School at the time of her selection as the Scouts (17-2-1) advanced to the Lake Forest Regional final against Deerfield High, scheduled for May 22. She is also a two-time Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Quon missed her junior season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee along with a right collarbone fracture during training with the U.S. U-17s in July of 2007. She has led her Eclipse Select club team to three U.S. Youth Soccer State Cup titles and a pair of US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional championships.

Quon, who will attend Stanford University next fall, has maintained an A average in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society and the Student Council Executive Board at Lake Forest High School, she has volunteered on behalf of the Church of St. Mary’s Camp Hope and the Max Schewitz Foundation. Quon has also donated her time to community service initiatives benefiting the Chicago Botanic Garden, her local Boys & Girls and Rotary clubs, as well as the Openlands nature conservation project. She has served as a Sunday School Assistant at Christ Church, a counselor for the US Youth Soccer Illinois Olympic Development Program camp, and as a youth soccer coach for the Lake Forest Soccer Association and the Lake Bluff recreation program.

“The thing about Rachel is that she never makes it look that hard,” says Mike Dickey, a U.S. Soccer National Staff Coach who was on U.S. U-17 head coach Kazbek Tambi’s staff in New Zealand. “She doesn’t give the ball away. She’s a very smart player. She has great feet. She reads plays before they happen and gets there before anyone else. She gives the ball to the right person in the right moment every time. She’s so elusive and her brain is so fast. She’s so intelligent. In a game of ‘keep the ball,’ you’d pick her first every time.”

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 RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit

Year Name High School / Hometown Status
2008-09 Rachel Quon Lake Forest / Lake Forest, Ill. U.S. 18 & U-20 WNT
2007-08 Teresa Noyola Palo Alto / Palo Alto, Calif. Stanford / U.S. U-20 WNT
2006-07 Melissa Henderson Berkner / Richardson, Texas Notre Dame
2005-06 Lauren Cheney Ben Davis / Indianapolis, Ind. UCLA / U.S. WNT
2004-05 Amy Rodriguez Santa Margarita / R. Santa Margarita, Calif. Boston Breakers / U.S. WNT
2003-04 Ashlyn Harris Satellite / Satellite Beach, Fla. North Carolina
2002-03 Heather O'Reilly East Brunswick / East Brunswick, N.J. Sky Blue FC / U.S. WNT
2001-02 Jill Oakes Harvard Westlake / North Hollywood, Calif. Chicago Red Stars
2000-01 Mary McDowell Wheat Ridge / Wheat Ridge, Colo. North Carolina Graduate
1999-00 Aleisha Cramer Green Mountain / Lakewood, Colo. BYU Graduate
1998-99 Christie Welsh Massapequa / Massapequa, N.Y. St. Louis Athletica
1997-98 Aly Wagner Presentation / San Jose, Calif. Los Angeles Sol