Barrington junior Jenna Szczesny has been chosen by the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, as the Illinois girls soccer player of the year.
Szczesny is the first player from Barrington have won the award.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence along with high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.
Now a finalist for Gatorade's national level player of the year honor, Szczesny joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central).
The 5-foot-10 forward has led the Fillies to a 14-3-2 record and a berth in the Class 3A Barrington regional semifinals. The Fillies being their postseason with a 5 p.m. Wednesday game against Wheeling.
Szczesny has so far scored 22 goals and supplied 14 assists in the 15 games in which she has appeared. Szczesny missed four games when her father passed away.
She entered the postseason with 55 goals in her high school soccer career.
Szczesny has maintained a 3.07 GPA in the classroom. She has participated in fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer research in addition to volunteering as a preschool mentor and as a youth soccer coach.
"Jenna is the most impactful player we have played against all season," said Craig Snower, Loyola Academy's coach. "She has terrific speed and the ability to finish from all angles. She makes Barrington dangerous at all times."
Szczesny has verbally committed to play soccer at Loyola University beginning in the fall of 2015.