May 20, 2013
SEATTLE - Cristian Roldan, a midfielder out of Pico Rivera, Calif., signed with the UW men's soccer team in the winter and has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Nationals Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
He led El Rancho HS to a 29-2-1 record on the way to winning the Southern Section Division III tournament Championship and the Southern Cal Division I Regional Championship. He scored a school record 54 goals and had 31 assists in 2013.
Roldan was surprised at school in California on Monday during class by soccer legend Alexi Lalas with the award.
"I couldn't be happier for Cristian," said UW head coach Jamie Clark. "He's a special young man and an incredible young soccer player. Only one soccer player in the country get's to finish their high school career as national player of the year. The combination of his team's success and the staggering number he put up makes him a deserving winner. We couldn't be happier that he is going to be a Husky this fall. He's going to have a lot of special games wearing purple and gold, and just as importantly we know he's going to represent our program with utmost class and pride."
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. In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
This year celebrates the program's 28th anniversary. In that time, Gatorade has honored more than 12,500 State Players of the Year and 250 National Players of the Year, including many of today's top professional athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker, Kerri Walsh, Derek Jeter, and Emmitt Smith.
Roldan and another incoming Husky, Mason Roberston, were honored last week by being named the Gatorade California State Player of the Year and the Arizona State Player of the Year.
Along with the honors listed above, Roldan was also the Southern Section Division III MVP and Southern Section Division IV MVP as a sophomore. The Dons are 78-6-3 with Roldan on the team. He also carries a 3.39 GPA and is active in volunteering and on several committees within his school.
Roberston is the third Gatorade Arizona Boys POY to be chosen from Pinnacle HS. A forward, he scored 33 goals and had 14 assists in 2013 leading the Pioneers to an 18-3-2 record and the Division I state tournament. He was also the Arizona Republic All-Northeast Valley Player of the Year.
"I am delighted that these future Huskies are getting the recognition they deserve," Clark added. "From the first time we saw these two guys we knew they were big time players, and I'm glad they are starting to get the recognition they deserve. If these young men continue to work hard this certainly will not be their last accolades, as we think these are two players with the potential to be some of the best players to put on a UW jersey."