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Canada's Kadeisha Buchanan named top NCAA soccer player

Canadian soccer star Kadeisha Buchanan has won the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, billed as U.S. college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy.

The 21-year-old defender from Brampton, Ont., was announced the winner of the high-profile award on Friday night.

Buchanan joins current national team captain Christine Sinclair as the only Canadian women to win the award. Sinclair won in 2004 and 2005.

Buchanan, a powerful centre back who along with fellow Canadian Ashley Lawrence led West Virginia University to the NCAA College Cup final, was up against Morgan Andrews (USC) and Andi Sullivan (Stanford).

The winner was determined by Division I coaches who are members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Anchored Mountaineers defence

Buchanan started 90 of 91 games for the Mountaineers. The lone game she missed was the Aug. 19 season opener against Penn State while Buchanan and Lawrence were with Canada at the Rio Olympics, where they won bronze.

Buchanan anchored a Mountaineer defence that posted an NCAA- and Mountaineer-best 18 shutouts this season.

West Virginia allowed just 62 opponents' goals and posted 55 shutouts since Buchanan joined the team in 2013. This season, the Mountaineer defence allowed just 12 opponent goals and did not allow a goal throughout the Big 12 Conference regular season.

A dream season ultimately ended in defeat Dec. 4 when the Mountaineers lost 3-1 to USC in the NCAA championship game. Buchanan still turned heads, earning NCAA Tournament Defensive MVP honours en route.

Buchanan was also a finalist last year when the award went to Penn State's Raquel Rodriguez.

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