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North Carolina's Speas named Men's Player of the Year
by Paul Kennedy, December 23rd, 2011 2:03AM

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[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
Ben Speas
Position: Midfielder. Class: Junior
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



1 comment
  1. mezzaninho mezzaninho
    commented on: December 25, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.
    As someone who attended most UNC (home) games in 2011, I'm happy for Ben Speaz but puzzled by this choice. Speas had a solid season and a great postseason, including an unbelievable title winning goal. I was completely behind his choice as College Cup MVP. But he wasn't the best UNC player over all of 2011. Billy Schuler, Matt Hedges and Enzo Martinez all had better years overall (and the award is called Player of the Year). How does Soccer America justify a PotY who didn't make the All-ACC first or second teams?


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