Cotter’s Miss Soccer: Gardner, Williams, and Killian earn awards at State banquet


Cathy Garnder

Olivia Gardner holding her Miss Soccer plaque at Sunday’s State soccer banquet.

Amaiya Kauphusman, staff reporter


Minnesota Class A Miss Soccer.  That sure has a nice ring to it for Olivia Gardner.

Gardner received the award at the annual MSHSL soccer banquet in St. Paul, on Sunday, October 24.  In addition to receiving the award as the most outstanding player in Class A in the state, Gardner and junior Alyssa Williams were named 1st team all-state, sophomore Ava Killian was named 2nd team all-state, and head coach Marie Barrientos was named section 1A coach of the year. The Ramblers are 16-1-2 overall heading into the state tournament, and are Three Conference and Section 1A champions.

Olivia Gardner has had outstanding season and career. She made All-State and All Conference (first team), won KTTC Athlete of the Week, has held 143 goals in her high school career, including 43 this season. Gardner is the first Cotter athlete to be selected as the outstanding player in a team sport in a single season.

Gardner was shocked when her name was called. She knew the other candidates also had amazing resumes and there was a perception that Metro players might have an advantage over outstate players.

When she gave her speech, she thanked her family, friends, teammates, and coaches for being so supportive and making her the player who she is today. Her parents and siblings were very excited for her. “My parents are my biggest fans,”  Gardner said.

“Being named All-State is a huge deal because you are considered to be in the top 3% players in the state. So it was very cool that I got it, as well as my teammates, Allyssa and Ava.”

Olivia was her teammates. She said they are very competitive and push her to do her best everyday on and off the field.

Coach Marie Barrientos is not only proud of Olivia, but her team as a whole.

“I am happy not only for Olivia, but for our program, school, and Southern Minnesota. Individual awards are a compilation of hundreds of great plays, combinations, and games as a whole team.Very proud!”

The girls soccer team is not finished yet though. The girls play the first round of the state tournament on Wednesday, October 27, vs. St. Cloud Cathedral at Monticello high school at 5:30pm.



Olivia Gardner, Ava Killian, and Allyssa Williams holding their All-State plaques. Photo: Cathy Gardner