CARLSBAD’S ALEXA DUGAN NAMED GATORADE NEW MEXICO GIRLS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR
*above photo courtesy Matthew Asher, Carlsbad Current-Argus
In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Alexa Dugan of Carlsbad High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Dugan is the first Gatorade New Mexico Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Carlsbad 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 Dugan as New Mexico’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 June, Dugan joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 & 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-4 junior forward led the Cavegirls to an 11-0 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season. Dugan scored 10 goals and passed for nine assists, and she recorded the game’s only goal in the final minute of Carlsbad’s 1-0 victory over Albuquerque High in the state final. The District 4-5A Player of the Year, Dugan is a three-time First Team All-District selection. She concluded her junior year with 81 goals and 35 assists in her prep soccer career.
Dugan has volunteered locally with Mission Carlsbad, working on houses for people in need, and as a lifeguard. She has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through her church youth group. “Alexa often demanded a lot of attention from defenses and still found a way to put the ball in the back of the net,” said Traci Sievers, head coach of Clovis High. “She is extremely quick and great with the ball at her feet. When her team needed a goal, she found a way to score.”
Dugan has maintained a weighted 4.40 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Dugan joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Girls Soccer Players of the Year Gabriella Montoya (2019-20, Volcano Vista High School), Eliza Mariner (2018-19, Albuquerque Academy), Brianna Martinez (2017-18, Volcano Vista High School), and Lexi Baca (2016-17, Cibola High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Dugan has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Dugan is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.