Issaquah’s Rachel Wheeler picked to play at nationals

December 3, 2013

By Matt Massey

Issaquah High School senior forward Rachel Wheeler, a University of Kentucky commit, was selected to play in the High School All-American Game for the best girls soccer players in the United States on Dec. 7 in Raleigh, N.C.

Wheeler, who helped the Eagles to runner-up Class 4A state finishes in 2012 and 2013, will suit up for the high-profile all-star game. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.

Issaquah senior Rachel Wheeler

Issaquah senior Rachel Wheeler

Wheeler suffered a pair of knee injuries in each of Issaquah’s last two fall seasons. Her left-knee ACL tear in the 4A state quarterfinal triumph over Central Valley of Spokane in 2012 ended her season before Issaquah fell to KingCo 4A rival Skyline, 1-0, in the 4A final.

“Rachel has been a key ingredient to Issaquah’s success,” Issaquah coach Tom Bunnell said. “Her hard work, leadership and general great attitude is exactly what we love in our players. For her to overcome injuries, and be able to have a successful season, and be honored to play in a game like this, makes me proud and happy.

“Hopefully, there is another Rachel coming down the pipe. We will miss her.”

Wheeler also hurt her right knee early in the 2013 season — this time less seriously — and missed almost half the season before returning for the final 10 matches, including a 3-2 overtime shootout loss to Central Valley in the 4A final.

The Eagles’ three-year starter, who chose not to play high school soccer as a sophomore, finished her high-school career with 21 goals and 24 assists. During Wheeler’s three seasons, the Eagles went 46-12-3.

Learn more about the High School All-American Game at www.highschoolsoccerallamerican.com. Watch the game live on the Internet at www.nscaatv.com/2013-girls-all-american-game.

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