After being named the best youth player in last year’s World Cup, Kadeisha Buchanan has been named the best female college player for 2015.
In a country that is a more centred around other sports like hockey, baseball and basketball and not so much soccer, it is nice to hear that a Canadian soccer player is becoming an inspiration for youth’s. Especially since that inspiration is 20 year-old and plying her trade in the NCAA.
Kadeisha Buchanan burst onto the soccer scene a couple of years ago, and really upped her game in last years Women’s World Cup in Canada. Buchanan was a rock in the backfield last summer, starting in five games as centre back and was able to lead the team to three shutout performances. She even won Best Young Player during the competition and made the All Star team. All of this at the age of 19.
On Monday, Buchanan was name the best female NCAA player in 2015, winning the College Boot after her stellar performances last year. Buchanan was able to captain a strong West Virginia Mountaineers team to a 19-3-1 record and an astonishing 15 shutout’s and only allowing 11 goals throughout regular season play.
On the male side, Stanford and Seattle Sounders wonder kid Jordan Morris was also awarded the College Boot. The accolades don’t stop there for Buchanan. She was able to win her third straight Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award and second straight First Team All-Amercian honour.
Even with her success, the Mountaineers failed to win the National Championship last year. Losing out in the Elite Eight to Penn State 2-1.
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This year will be a big one for the 20 year-old. While the women’s team have announced their roster for their 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers, Buchanan will be seen as a leader not just in the back, but as a whole. Legends like Christine Sinclair, Erin McLeod and Melissa Tancredi will obviously play a big role, but it is now time to look at the younger players.
What is more important for Buchanan than her list of awards, has been being a big role model for so many young female soccer players in this country. With male athletes like Cyle Larin, Atiba Hutchinson and Will Johnson helping push more male players to participate in the beautiful game, Buchanan is inspiring many girls with the same passion, motivation and overall skill as herself to play soccer. Buchanan was even put on a Canada Post stamp during the World Cup with fellow teammate Sinclair.
Winning this award will obviously put her name out there for many to see, but what she is doing differently is letting her skill on the field do the talking. Allowing people to focus more on women’s soccer in this country may be hard to do, but with so much potential and already being a national team star, while still in university, is pretty impressive.
Watch out for Buchanan during the qualifiers as she, and the women’s team, will look to make it to the Rio Olympics and improve on their third place finish from the 2012 games.