[SOCCER AMERICA AWARDS]On a North Carolina team loaded with quality talent, junior midfielder Ben Speas stood out with his exceptional play during the postseason.
The 2011 Soccer America Player of the Year had two goals and an assist in the ACC final, the key assist to get the Tar Heels back into the Men's College Cup semifinals and a golazo to save them in the final when they had been outplayed by Charlotte.
Speas, who won the NCAA title with Akron as a sophomore, also scored in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Coastal Carolina and had the second goal against St. Mary's in the quarterfinals.
He is the first Tar Heel to win the Soccer America Player of the Year award.
Men's Player of the Year
Hometown: Stow, Ohio
High School:Cuyahoga Valley Christian
Youth Club:Columbus Crew academy
MEN'S PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2011 -- Ben Speas, North Carolina
2010 -- Kofi Sarkodie, Akron
2009 -- Teal Bunbury, Akron
2008 -- Steve Zakuani, Akron
2007 -- O'Brian White, Connecticut
2006 -- Joseph Lapira, Notre Dame
2005 -- Jason Garey, Maryland
2004 -- Ryan Pore, Tulsa
2003 -- Joseph Ngwenya, Coastal Carolina
2002 -- Alecko Eskandarian, Virginia
2001 -- Luchi Gonzalez, SMU
2000 -- Chris Gbandi, Connecticut
1999 -- Aleksey Korol, Indiana
1998 -- Wojtek Krakowiak, Clemson
1997 -- Ben Olsen, Virginia
1996 -- Johnny Torres, Creighton
1995 -- Mike Fisher, Virginia
1994 -- A.J. Wood, Virginia
1993 -- Claudio Reyna, Virginia
1992 -- Claudio Reyna, Virginia
1987-91 -- No winner announced
1986 -- Paul Caligiuri, UCLA, John Kerr, Duke
1985 -- Michael Brady, American
1984 -- Paul DiBernardo, Indiana