STARKVILLE, Miss. – Aaron Gordon added another standout to his stacked 2014 signing class with the addition of Southlake, Texas, midfielder/forward Payton Gruenewald.
The 5-9 Gruenewald wrapped a senior campaign that saw her help Matthew Colvin’s Southlake Carroll High School squad to a 23-2-1 record, the fewest losses in program history, and the quarterfinals of the state 5A tournament. The team also won a third-straight district title and the area crown.
“Payton is a player we have known about for some time. In the world of early recruiting, players like Payton sometimes get missed, but we continued to watch her and she continued to get better,” Gordon said. “We are excited to have her joining our program at Mississippi State, and we are looking forward to her contributing as a freshman next season.”
Gruenewald, who was voted the team’s “Queen of the Air,” earned first-team all-district accolades after tallying 14 points (five goals, four assists). She helped the Lady Dragons deposit 97 shots while allowing a program-low seven goals.
The outstanding senior campaign followed a 2013 season that saw her earn second-team all-district honors after helping the Lady Dragons to a program-best 30-3-0 record and 5A state runner-up finish.
Her sophomore season she helped Carroll to the district title and region quarterfinals.
Gruenewald has also been a standout off the pitch, earning academic all-district honors four-straight years. She claimed academic all-state accolades following her senior campaign.
She played club soccer for Solar Chelsea ’96 and coach Adrian Solca. In 2013, she helped Solar Chelsea to the ECNL national tournament and a third-place finish in the Champions League.
Gruenewald is the daughter of Trevor, a former baseball player at Purdue, and Rhonda Gruenewald. Her older sister Taylor plays volleyball at Cal Poly, and she has two younger siblings, Brayden and Mitchell.Fans can keep up with the Bulldog soccer team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching “HailStateSOC.”