ST. LOUIS — Kadeisha Buchanan won the 2016 Hermann Trophy on Friday night, becoming the first West Virginia player to earn college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy and the first defender since 2003.

“It is an amazing feeling to win the MAC Hermann Trophy,” said Buchanan, a two-time finalist. “Tonight’s honor is not just for me – it’s for my friends, my family, my teammates and my coaches. My last season at WVU was amazing, and to finish it with this award is an insane feeling.

“There were a lot of firsts for the program this year, and I think that all helped me become the first Mountaineer to win the Hermann Trophy Award as well. It took a total team effort to put me in the place where I could win this honor.”

Joined at the ceremony by Mountaineers coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, the Hermann Trophy capped a season which saw Buchanan help lead WVU to its first NCAA College Cup appearance and a national runner-up finish.

“When Kadeisha joined the WVU program in 2013, winning the Hermann Trophy was one of her career goals,” Izzo-Brown said. “She did not want to leave the collegiate playing level without winning this honor. I am so happy the committee recognized her talent, her hard work and her effort to be the best soccer player in the country.

“Over the last four seasons, she helped this program establish its footing as one of the best in the country.”

The winners and finalists for the Hermann Trophy are determined by a vote of Division I coaches who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. With tonight’s honor, Buchanan joins a storied list of female award winners which includes two-time award winner Christine Sinclair (Portland, 2004-05), a Canadian national teammate of Buchanan’s, as well as Christen Press (Stanford, 2010) and Mia Hamm (North Carolina, 1992-93).

“There are so many world-class players that won this award before me, and I have known for a long time that I wanted to be a part of that group,” Buchanan said. “Words can’t explain how proud I am to win this award.”

Buchanan, a four-time NSCAA All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honoree, claimed the 2016 espnW and National Player of the Year honors in December. She also was named the Honda Sport Award winner for soccer and the 2016 NCAA tournament defensive MVP.

The only WVU women’s soccer player to receive All-America honors in all four seasons in Morgantown, she also is a four-time All-Big 12 honoree and has won four Academic All-Big 12 awards, and three Big 12 tournament defensive MVP honors.

A two-time team captain, she and the WVU defense posted a nation- and program-best 18 shutouts this season and allowed just 12 opponent goals. The Mountaineers set a benchmark by not allowing a goal throughout the Big 12 conference regular-season slate.

Buchanan started 90-of-91 career matches, and the WVU backline allowed just 62 goals and posted 55 shutouts since she joined the team in 2013. She tallied nine points (3 G, 3 A) in 2016, including an assist on the team’s game-winner in its 1-0 victory over Duke in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Buchanan posted 25 career points (eight goals, nine assists) in four seasons.

Buchanan helped Canada claim the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Best Young Player honoree, she also was named the 2015 Canadian Player of the Year.

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