December 11, 2015
Hermann down to Buchanan, Rodriguez and Sonnet
KANSAS CITY, Mo.--- West Virginia junior defender Kadeisha Buchanan (Brampton, Ontario), Penn State senior midfielder Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica), and Virginia senior defender Emily Sonnet (Marietta, Ga.) are the women's finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy.
The three-time reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Buchanan started all 23 of the Mountaineers’ games at center back. The WVU backline recorded a program single-season record 15 shutouts, the third-best total in the NCAA, and allowed only 11 opponent goals all year, also a team record. WVU put together a program-record nine-match shutout streak this year (Aug. 28 – Sept. 25).
One of three team captains, Buchanan played between two freshmen defenders for the majority of the season and assisted in the newcomers’ development. She tallied five points (1 G, 3 A), including the team’s game-winning goal at No. 15 Ohio State on Sept. 11. A three-time NSCAA All-American and three-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree, Buchanan led the Mountaineers to their fourth straight Big 12 Conference regular-season title. The squad advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, only the second appearance in program history, and accumulated 19 victories, the most wins in program history. The Mountaineers were ranked in the top 10 nationally each week but two this season and hit a program-high No. 2 twice. Buchanan also was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team and the Big 12 All-Academic Second Team and earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades twice.
A member of the full Canadian National Team, Buchanan started all five of Canada’s matches at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was named the tournament’s Best Young Player and to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 All-Star Squad. Additionally, she was one of 10 players shortlisted for the 2015 Ballon d’Or Award as the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. She is one of the nominees for the Soccer News Net College Boot as national player of the year.
Rodriguez started all 27 matches in the Nittany Lion midfield. On the year she tallied 18 points, which included six goals and six assists. Rodriguez capped off her Nittany Lion career on the field as she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the 2015 Women’s College Cup Final. Her goal in the College Cup Final was the 23rd of her career and her ninth career game-winning goal. She also scored the game-winning goal in back-to-back matches for the Blue and White (Oct. 11 – Indiana and Oct. 15 – Purdue). Out of the 27 matches in 2015, Rodriguez played the full-time nine times, including a 0-0 draw against then-No. 21 Duke in late August.
Rodriguez brought home NSCAA All-America First Team and All-Great Lakes First Team honors, All-Big Ten First Team plaudits, and for her performance in the Women’s College Cup she was named to the All-Tournament Team and the Most Outstanding Player on Offense. The 2015 year has been a banner year for Rodriguez as she scored the first World Cup goal for the Costa Rican national team in Costa Rica’s World Cup debut on June 9 against Spain. She also made Penn State history by becoming the first Nittany Lion to score in a World Cup, and earned LYG Player of the Match honors.
Named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Sonnett helped Virginia post a 19-1-3 record on the season and a 9-1 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Cavaliers claimed the ACC regular-season title for the second time in the last three seasons with the lone loss coming in double-overtime to then No. 6 Notre Dame.
With Sonnett anchoring the back line, the Cavaliers posted 15 shutouts through 23 matches, including 14 shutout victories and one scoreless draw. Throughout her career on the Cavalier back line, Virginia has posted 54 shutouts in 84 victories as the Cavaliers posted shutout wins 64 percent of the time. In 2015, the Cavaliers allowed only 12 goals through 23 matches and allowed six shots per game.
Sonnett was named a first team NSCAA All-American and a first team All-ACC selection. She earned her first cap with the US Women’s National Team against Brazil as part of the USWNT Victory Tour in Orlando, Fla., on October 25.