Brighton soccer star Stephanie Verdoia is this year’s Gatorade Utah Girls Soccer Player of the Year. With the designation, Verdoia becomes a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Award, which will be announced in May.
The 5-foot 6 senior forward led the Bengals to a 17-0-3 record and the 5A state championship. Verdoia, who has a 3.98 grade point average, scored 27 goals and passed for 12 assists, including a hat trick in a 3-0 win over top-seeded Davis High in the 5A state semi-finals.
For her efforts, Verdoia was named the 5A Most Valuable Player by both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. Verdoia, who plans to play soccer on scholarship at Seattle University in the fall, was honored during halftime at the Feb. 22 Brighton vs. Alta girls basketball game.
“Steph Verdoia is flamboyant,” Dennis Burrows, the Director of Coaching for Verdoia’s Sparta United club team, is quoted as saying on publicity materials released by Gatorade. “She takes it up a notch on the field. She’s an athlete, a competitor, a special individual. She has that little something extra. She takes on the game and makes it hers.”
Each year the Gatorade Player of the Year program 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 and field. The program awards one national Player of the Year in each sport.
The selection process is overseen by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Read about Verdoia’s Gatorade Player of the Year accomplishment in the Salt Lake Tribune.