The 2015 men’s college player of the year race ran down to the wire.
Creighton’s Fabian Herbers led the country in points in 2015, finishing tied for third in goals (15) and alone in first in assists (17). Individually it was a season few have glimpsed in the history of DI college soccer, but it ultimately couldn’t drag the Blue Jays into the College Cup.
Individually, Stanford’s Jordan Morris’s season paled in comparison. He had two fewer goals than Morris and 14 fewer assists, and the Cardinal were a deeper team than Creighton anyway. But the way Morris finished the season essentially stamped his name on the player of the year trophy. After scoring a crucial penalty in the College Cup semifinal win over Akron, Morris scored twice to guide Stanford’s 4-0 rout of Clemson in the title game.
Morris was the better player and had the better end to the season. But Herbers unquestionably had a better individual season. Which player gets the award?
The committee answered Morris last year, but it’s still a debate that rages annually. What criteria are good enough to win you the hardware? With those vectors in mind, we dive into some dark horses for the trophy in 2016 based on the shortlist. Can these players overcome the relative lack of spotlight and shock the nation?