High School Sports

Dimond High’s Mai Mateaki named Alaska’s Gatorade Player of the Year for girls soccer

Coming off a senior season where she led the Dimond High girls soccer team to a fourth straight Division I state finals appearance and helped the Lynx claim their third title in the last four years, Mai Mateaki was named Alaska’s Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year on Thursday.

The senior midfielder/forward became the third straight Lynx player and seventh all-time in program history to receive the honor that recognizes extraordinary athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character on and off the pitch. She is also the second person in her family to receive the award, as her older sister Kana Mateaki was the recipient for the 2019-20 school year.

“It’s pretty cool that the past three years have been players from Dimond,” Mateaki said. “I think this says a lot about the community and how we are able to push each other, as teammates, during practices, games, and with school work. Dimond really has a family-type dynamic where we joke around and sometimes beef, but all become friends after as we are all working towards the same goal. My family is pretty big and very competitive. I think it’s inevitable that I look up to my older siblings as they are better than me at probably everything.”

The 5-foot-3 recent graduate led the Lynx to a 14-2 record and a decisive 1-0 victory in the Division I state championship to avenge their only losses of the season and spoil rival South Anchorage’s undefeated season.

“Winning the championship senior year was so fulfilling because I felt like that game we played as a team,” Mateaki said. “It was a fun game and the energy was there. We fixed some things and had high energy everywhere from the players on the field, to the coaches, the bench and the crowd. The attitude was different. It was so much fun.”

She scored 26 goals and passed for 18 assists, and had seven multigoal games — five of which were hat tricks. She is a member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Region IV team, was named to the All-State First Team all four years and finished her high school soccer career with 85 goals and 36 assists.

“I am very honored to have coached another talented student-athlete,” Dimond head coach Will Lucero said in a statement. “The success comes from building a program that has a culture based on trust and support. Having a system of play that everyone is part of putting that ball in the goal. It’s about coaching a player and a team to be good humans and compete to the best of their abilities is the focus and most importantly preparing for the most important game called life.”


In addition to being a four-year member of the Dimond High School Key Club, Mateaki has volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects and she has donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through her church youth group.

“Mai works incredibly hard and is the most technically sound player in the state,” Colony head coach Jeremy Johnson said. “I’ve personally seen her putting in the effort in the offseason to become a better player. She also incorporates her teammates into the play and doesn’t try to do everything herself.”

Mateaki will be attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she will play soccer beginning this fall, and intends to study biology.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.