University of Akron sophomore forward Teal Bunbury concluded his collegiate men's soccer career by winning the sport's most prestigious award Friday night in St. Louis.
Bunbury won the Hermann Trophy, a crystal soccer ball that is college soccer's version of football's Heisman Trophy, at the Missouri Athletic Club.
''I'm feeling really good right now,'' Bunbury said Friday by telephone from St. Louis. ''It is a great feeling to win this award. I have to give a lot of credit to all my teammates; without them I could not have won this award. I also have to give a lot of credit to my coaches and the university. I am really excited and happy.''
The first runner-up was Harvard senior forward Andre Akpan. Wake Forest junior midfielder Corben Bone was third.
Bunbury previously was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America first team All-American, received national Player of the Year honors from Soccer America and Goal.com and was chosen as the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.
''It is a tremendous honor for Teal and certainly for our program,'' UA coach Caleb Porter said Friday by telephone from St. Louis. ''We accomplished a lot this year and this is icing on the cake. This has never happened in the 54 years of the program. It is really a credit to how hard Teal has worked.''
Bunbury led all Division I players with 17 goals in 2009 and had five assists.
Bunbury and junior midfielder Blair Gavin each decided to turn pro and pursue a career in MLS this past month after helping the Zips (23-1-1) to a national runnerup finish in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and MAC regular-season and tournament titles.
It is the second year in a row that the Zips had a finalist for the award. Former Zips star forward Steve Zakuani finished second last year.
Check out Saturday's Akron Beacon Journal newspaper and/or the ohio.com wesbite for more on this story with additional comments from Bunbury and Porter.