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Meet SBLive's national high school boys soccer players of the year in 2021-22

Here are 20 high school boys soccer players from 20 states who had a season worthy of national recognition.
Nolan Spicer photo by Gabe Haferman

Nolan Spicer photo by Gabe Haferman

We've officially shifted from the 2021-22 high school sports season to the 2022-23 preseason, so it's time to look back on the stars of the past fall, winter and spring seasons before we start looking ahead to who's next.

We started by highlighting some of the players of the year in volleyball, and the top football players in the nation came next. 

Vote now: Who was the national high school volleyball player of the year in 2021-22?

Vote now: Who was the national high school football player of the year in 2021-22?

Now it's the top boys soccer players' turn. 

Over the next few weeks we'll also be featuring the top stars nationally in girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls track and field, softball and baseball.

Here are 20 high school boys soccer players who had a season worthy of national recognition.

Arkansas: Fernando Castro, forward/midfielder, Russellville, sr.

Castro scored 39 goals this season to lead Russellville (21-1-1) to the Class 5A state championship. He recently played in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game, scoring the second goal for West in a 2-1 win.

California: David Diaz, midfielder, Birmingham, sr.

Diaz scored a school-record 33 goals as a senior to become Birmingham's career leader in that category. He won two state championships with the Patriots and led them to the L.A. City Section championship game as a senior. Diaz will play for Cal State Northridge in 2022-23.

Connecticut: Kelvin "KK" Baffour, midfielder, Taft, sr.

Baffour led the Rhinos (19-1) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A Tournament championship game. The Notre Dame signee had 29 goals and 19 assists, notching at least one point in 19 of Taft's 20 games.

Florida: Santiago Castaneda, midfielder, Tampa Prep, jr.

Castaneda led Tampa Prep to a 21-0 record and the Class 3A state championship this past season. He'll look to keep that unbeaten run going as a senior, and the 6-foot-2 midfielder's goal is to play professionally straight out of high school.

Georgia: Matthew Webb, midfielder/forward, Pike County, sr.

Webb followed up a junior year that'd be hard to top — 51 goals and 25 assists — with an even bigger senior year. He scored 61 goals and delivered 33 assists in leading Pike County to the 3A quarterfinals, losing 1-0 to eventual state champion Greater Atlanta Christian.

Indiana: Palmer Ault, midfielder, Noblesville, sr.

Ault led the Millers to a 20-1-1 record and the Class 3A state championship in his senior season, tallying 26 goals and 16 assists. He's staying in-state to play for Butler in college.

Maryland: Jacob Murrell, forward, McDonogh, sr.

Murrell scored 41 goals and passed for 20 assists as a senior, earning honors as National Gatorade Player of the Year. He had 12 multi-goal games, including four hat tricks and four four-goal games, and will be playing for Georgetown in the fall.

Massachusetts: Augustine Boadi, midfielder, Northfield Mount Hermon, sr.

Boadi led the Hoggers to a 13-2-1 record and the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A Tournament championship as a senior. The Ghana native is staying in-state to play for Boston College in 2022-23.

Michigan: Nick Cassiday, Grand Rapids Christian, midfielder, sr.

Cassiday racked up 36 goals and 10 assists in leading Grand Rapids Christian to a 17-7-2 record and the Division II state championship this past season. The Michigan signee finished his prep soccer career with 74 goals and 41 assists.

Mississippi: Luke Hopkins, Clinton, midfielder, sr.

Arguably the smoothest player in Mississippi, Hopkins glides across the field scoring and assisting goals. He was a constant presence for the 6A state champion and scored the game-winning goal in the title game.

Missouri: Ryder Barrett, Rockhurst, defender, sr.

Barrett anchored a Rockhurst defense that posted 16 shutouts and allowed just 11 goals in winning the Class 4 state championship. The 6-foot-1 senior, who's always a threat to score in the air on set pieces, will be playing college soccer for Drake in Iowa.

Nevada: Yuval Cohen, Palo Verde, forward, soph.

Cohen scored 40 goals and had 14 assists to lead the Panthers to the 5A state championship. He also plays year-round for Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club, which won the 2021 national championship.

New Jersey: Ransford Gyan, St. Benedict's Prep, midfielder, soph.

Nicknamed the "Ghana-Messi," the 5-foot-4 Gyan is one of the best playmakers in the country, and he's on Ghana's radar to play for the national team. He led St. Benedict's Prep to a 15-0-2 record and the Non-Public Prep A Tournament state championship as a sophomore.

New York: Daniel D'Ippilito, Somers, midfielder, sr.

The Fordham signee was as well-rounded a midfielder as they come as a senior, scoring 36 goals and passing out 38 assists, leading the Tuskers (22-1) to the Class A state championship.

North Carolina: Aidan Payne, New Hanover, forward, sr.

Payne led the Wildcats to a 27-0-1 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. The imposing 6-foot-3 forward scored 54 goals as a senior and will look to transfer his scoring prowess to the college level at North Carolina State.

Ohio: Nolan Spicer, forward, St. Ignatius, jr.

Spicer's overtime goal against Centerville gave St. Ignatius its third straight Division I state championship, and the rising senior has a shot to go 4-for-4 this fall. He's already committed to play for Notre Dame in college.

Oregon: Nani Deperro, midfielder/forward, Summit, sr.

Deperro scored 33 goals and added 19 assists in leading Summit to a dominant 17-0-1 season that finished with an emphatic 6-0 win over West Linn for the 6A state championship. He'll be playing college soccer for one of the top teams in the nation, the Washington Huskies.

Virginia: Parker Sloan, midfielder/forward, Powhatan, sr.

Sloan scored 35 goals and delivered 17 assists this past season, finishing his prep soccer career with 71 goals and 42 assists. He's staying close to home for college, playing for the Virginia Cavaliers.

Washington: Alex Harris, forward, Columbia River, jr.

Harris was one of the most prolific scorers in the country as a junior, piling up 51 goals and scoring eight of the team’s 12 goals in the state tournament. He led the Rapids to the Class 2A state semifinals and will look for more in 2022-23.

Wisconsin: Denis Krioutchenkov, forward, Shorewood, sr.

Krioutchenkov became the first player from Shorewood to be named Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. The imposing 6-foot-1 forward was one of the best scorers in the country, racking up 52 goals. The Davidson signee finished his prep career with 116 goals and 35 assists.