UCLA Recruit Lauren Cheney Named National Player of the Year

Feb. 23, 2006

Story courtesy of Gatorade

INDIANAPOLIS - Entering its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade® Thirst Quencher, in partnership with Scholastic Coach & Athletic Director magazine, today announced Lauren Cheney of Ben Davis High School (Indianapolis, Ind.) as the 2005-06 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes athletic achievement as well as the academic performance and overall character of its recipient, distinguishes Cheney 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 selected Cheney from the more than 315,000 female high school soccer players nationwide. Cheney is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at an awards ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

Cheney, a 5-foot-8-inch forward, led Ben Davis with 35 goals and 15 assists this season. She was named first-team All-Conference, All-County and All-State, the Indianapolis Star Super Team Player of the Year, a PARADE All-America, and the 2005 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year. In her four-year career at Ben Davis, Lauren tallied 112 goals and 67 assists. She was a four-time Indiana All-State selection, and a three-time NSCAA All-American.

Cheney has bolstered her international résumé in the past year as well. Last summer she was the youngest member of the U.S. Under-21 National Team that won the annual Nordic Cup, the premier tournament in the world for U-21 women. Cheney scored two goals in the tournament and added an assist in each of the four matches, helping the U.S. to an unprecedented seventh straight Nordic Cup title. In January, Cheney scored four goals in the U.S. U-20 National Team's five CONCACAF qualifying contests, propelling the Americans to the tournament title and a spot in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship to be held in Russia later this year.

In addition to her athletic exploits, Cheney is also an achiever in the classroom, with a 3.1 GPA and 1410 SAT score. She will attend UCLA this fall on a soccer scholarship.

"I have coached both boys and girls over the last nine years at various levels, and Lauren is by far the most talented player I've coached or watched play," says Ben Davis head coach Sean Bosley. "She is very strong on the ball, knows how to get others involved in the game, and she knows how to score. She is one of the most competitive athletes I have ever coached."

"Without question, Lauren is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school girls soccer player based on her performance and the tremendous ability she's demonstrated," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Tom Fox. "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and awards one National Player of the Year in five boys sports (football, soccer, basketball, baseball, track & field) and five girls sports (volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, track & field). In addition to athletic performance, award criteria include achievement in the classroom and overall character. Previous Gatorade National Player of the Year award winners in all sports include:

• Two-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie • Captain of the U.S. men's national soccer team Claudio Reyna • Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez • Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh • Reigning 200-meter world champion Allyson Felix

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

2005-06 - Lauren Cheney (UCLA)
2004-05 - Amy Rodriguez (USC)
2003-04 - Ashlyn Harris (North Carolina)
2002-03 - Heather O'Reilly (North Carolina)
2001-02 - Jill Oakes (UCLA)
2000-01 - Mary McDowell (North Carolina)
1999-00 - Aleisha Cramer (BYU)
1998-99 - Christie Welsh (Penn State)
1997-98 - Aly Wagner (Santa Clara)

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit www.gatorade.com/playeroftheyear


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Wednesday, Aug 12
vs. Missouri
Los Angeles, CA
0-0
Friday, Aug 21
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
L, 0 - 1
Sunday, Aug 23
at San Diego
San Diego, CA
W, 1 - 0 (2OT)
Sunday, Aug 30
vs. Wisconsin
Los Angeles, CA
W, 2 - 1
Friday, Sep 04 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Virginia
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Sep 06 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Texas
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Sep 11 - 4:00 PM PST
at Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
Sunday, Sep 13 - 10:00 AM PST
at North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
Thursday, Sep 17 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Sep 25 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Oct 01 - 7:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Oct 04 - 11:00 AM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Friday, Oct 09 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 11 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Oct 17 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Friday, Oct 23 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 25 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Oct 29 - 3:30 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Sunday, Nov 01 - 3:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Friday, Nov 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 13 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Friday, Nov 20 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Sunday, Nov 22 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Third Round
TBA
Friday, Nov 27 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Quarterfinals
TBA
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS