VERMILLION, S.D. – For the second-straight season, the South Dakota soccer team will have the reigning South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year on its roster. Lexie Wood, an incoming freshman from Rapid City, South Dakota, recently received the prestigious award.

Wood is set to join rising sophomore Joana Zanin on the Coyotes’ roster giving USD the last two award winners from the Rushmore State on the same roster.

“One of the things that we wanted to do when we came in was recruit and respect the talent within the state of South Dakota,” head coach Michael Thomas said. “We are really excited to be getting some of the best players and people in South Dakota.”

Wood scored 15 goals and assisted on nine others during her senior season, leading Stevens High School to an 11-3-1 record and advancing to the Class AA state title game. She earned first-team all-state accolades and was named MVP of the South Dakota All-Star Game. She concluded her prep career with 22 goals and 14 assists.

Off the pitch, the midfielder has volunteered at the Rapid City Regional Hospital and as a youth soccer coach.

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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

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