In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Gracie Lachowecki of Reitz Memorial Catholic High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Indiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Lachowecki is the first Gatorade Indiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Reitz Memorial Catholic 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 Lachowecki as Indiana’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 May, Lachowecki joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-7 senior midfielder led the Tigers to a 21-3 record and the Class 2A state championship this past season. Lachowecki scored 42 goals and passed for nine assists, recording at least one point in 23 of Reitz’s 24 games. The 2012 Indiana Soccer Coaches Association’s Miss Soccer, Lachowecki scored 16 goals in seven postseason games. A member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Olympic Development Program team, Lachowecki was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She concluded her prep soccer career with 113 goals and 47 assists.
Lachowecki has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. A two-time member of the ISCA Academic All-State team, she has volunteered locally at a food bank and homeless shelter and as club president of the Reitz Memorial Student Wellness Awareness Team.
“Gracie is a coach’s dream player but not just for the obvious reasons,” said Angie Lensing, head coach at Reitz Memorial. “She had an extremely unselfish attitude toward the meaning of team, and her ability to compete no matter what was at stake or the opponent we faced was remarkable.”
Lachowecki has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Miami (Fla.) beginning this fall.
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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA High School Sports, 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.
Lachowecki joins recent Gatorade Indiana Girls Soccer Players of the Year Brooke Backes (2011-12, Carmel High School), Sarah Killion (2010 – 11, 2009-10 & 2008–09, Bishop Dwenger High School), Ashley Auld (2007-08, Noblesville High School), and Julie Scheidler (2006-2007, Bishop Chatard) among the state’s list of former award winners.