Shane Nicholson, a senior forward from Choctawhatchee High School (Fort Walton Beach, Florida), and Miranda Nild, a senior forward from Castro Valley High School (Castro Valley, California), are the TopDrawerSoccer.com High School Players of the Week.
Shane Nicholson put one heck of a finishing flourish on his senior season. The prolific forward guided Chochtaw back into the Florida Class 3A state title game last week, where it lost in brutal fashion 5-0 to Merritt Island last season. After a ripping senior season, Choctaw got another crack at Merritt Island in a 3A title game rematch this time around, and Nicholson didn’t waste the opportunity. With his last touch as a high school soccer player, Nicholson struck the game-winning goal in overtime to lead the Indians to their first state title in nine appearances at the state tournament. Nicholson, who’s receiving college interest from West Florida in addition to a few others, finished his senior campaign with 50 goals.
While California is still on the march toward its own postseason, Miranda Nild was in pure postseason form for Castro Valley last week in a pair of huge victories. Nild, who’s committed to California for next season, scored game-winning goals in both of Castro Valley’s wins last week, included a huge 2-0 win over FAB 50-ranked Bishop O’Dowd. Despite missing six matches, Nild has 18 goals this season, including at least one against every FAB 50-ranked opponent Castro Valley’s faced this season. After scoring 69 goals combined in her sophomore and junior seasons, Nild is streaking into her college career with momentum in tow.
Other boys finalists include Jack Peterson (Clark High School, San Antonio, Texas) and Alberto Saldana (Watsonville High School, Watsonville, California). Other girls finalists include Lauren Miller (Aliso Niguel High School, Aliso Viejo, California) and Audrey Ward (Keller High School, Keller, Texas).
The TopDrawerSoccer.com High School Player of the Week honor is designed to highlight a selection of the nation's rising stars populating the high school ranks. Coaches are free to nominate a boys or girls player each week by emailing their submission to Will Parchman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the school, position, grade year and any relevant stats from the previous week. The selection process will take into account a slew of factors from contribution to team results to individual accolades. Honorees are announced each Wednesday.