University of Akron sophomore forward Teal Bunbury was named the Soccer America Player of the Year on Friday after leading the nation in goals scored in 2009.
This is the second year in a row a UA player was named Player of the Year by the publication and the third time a sophomore won the award, which was first handed out in 1984. Former Zips standout Steve Zakuani won the 2008 Player of the Year award as a sophomore. The only other sophomore to win the honor was Virginia's Claudio Reyna, who won the first of back-to-back awards in 1992.
Bunbury, also earned the 2009 Mid-American Conference and Goal.com Player of the Year awards.
Bunbury, a native of Prior Lake, Minn., led all Division I players with 17 goals in 2009 and helped the Zips to a national runnerup finish in the NCAA Tournament and a 23-1-1 record. He had five goals that were game-winners and four of his five assists led to game-winning goals.
He has at least one goal or one assist in 16 of 25 games and scored multiple goals in four games. From late September to early November, he scored 14 goals in a 12-game span, including four game-winners.
Bunbury compiled a team-high 39 points and started every game for UA, which was ranked No. 1 in the country by all five national polls for the final nine weeks of the season. He netted six goals as a freshman.
Bunbury is one of three finalists this year for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s version of football’s Heisman Trophy. The winner will be announced on Jan. 8 at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis, Mo.