Barrington’s Van Roekel wins Gatorade award as the best in Illinois girls soccer this season

Barrington senior Roos Van Roekel on Thursday was named the 2023-24 Gatorade Illinois Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Van Roekel is the second Barrington player to win the award.

The 6-foot senior defender led the Fillies (19-2-2) to league, regional and sectional championships last season. Van Roekel, the Daily Herald Cook County All-Area captain, scored 18 goals and passed for 5 assists, leading a defense that produced 16 clean sheets. She led her team in scoring as a center back and was named the Illinois High School Coaches Association’s Player of the Year. She was also a 2024 United Soccer Coaches All-America selection.

The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Van Roekel as Illinois’ best high school girls soccer player.

Van Roekel has volunteered with the Barrington Buddies program, supporting long-lasting, special friendships with physically and intellectually challenged youth while partnering in crafts, games and other activities.

She’s also a member of the Key Club at her school, which is the oldest and largest community service organization for high school students. The club aims to foster leadership and underscore the importance of giving back.

“Roos was by far the best defender we saw this season,” said Fremd coach Steve Keller. “She’s an imposing figure with an incredibly strong right foot who reads the game extremely well. Roos anchored a defense that was nearly impossible to score on. Great in the air and deadly on set pieces, she’s the type of player you build a team around.”

Van Roekel has maintained a 3.53 GPA in the classroom. She will play at Loyola this fall.

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