In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Veronica Latsko of Peters Township High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Latsko is the first Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Peters Township 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 Latsko as Pennsylvania’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, Latsko 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 returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-8 junior forward led the Indians to a 24-1 record and a third straight Class AAA state title this past season. Latsko scored 40 goals and passed for 22 assists, including four goals and an assist in the postseason. A two-time Pittsburgh Post Gazette Player of the Year and an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, she concluded her junior year with 111 goals and 64 assists in her prep soccer career.
Latsko has maintained a 4.70 weighted GPA and is a Summa Cum Laude student in the classroom. A member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, she has volunteered locally as a middle school tutor, as a youth soccer coach and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit the March of Dimes.
“Veronica Latsko is an easy choice,” said Seth Lehman, head coach of Cumberland Valley High, which lost to Peters Township in the state title game. “She’s incredibly dynamic and a threat every time she touches the ball.”
Latsko has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia beginning in the fall of 2014.
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.
Latsko joins Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Soccer Players of the Year Kelly Kerrigan (2010 – 11, Downington High School East), Cassie Pecht (2009-10, Cumberland Valley), Taylor Schram (2008–09, Canon-McMillan), Lauren Alwine (2007-08, Lower Dauphin), and Colleen Flanagan (2006-2007, Downingtown West) among the state’s list of former award winners.