North Carolina

Tar Heels notch national soccer honors

Posted December 24, 2011

Junior forward Ben Speas, who scored the game-winning goal in the NCAA men’s soccer national championship game, and Carlos Somoano, who led UNC to the national title in his first year as head coach, are Soccer America’s National Player and Coach of the Year, respectively.

The awards are the first national player and coach of the year honors presented by Soccer America to the Tar Heels. Speas is the first Tar Heel men's soccer player to earn National Player of the Year honors.

Speas, a native of Stow, Ohio, finished the championship season with seven goals and 10 assists for 24 points. In addition to scoring the only goal in the national championship match against Charlotte, Speas had an assist in the semifinal win over UCLA and scored the deciding penalty kick to send the Tar Heels to the finals. He also had two goals and an assist in a 3-1 win over Boston College in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship game.

“I am very happy for Ben,” says Somoano. “The award is reflective of the stretch he had late in the year, especially in the NCAA Tournament and the College Cup. His ability to help us win some of the biggest games of the year was invaluable. (As a transfer from Akron) It took him a little while to settle in and get confident but then he took off. I always felt confident in him and I knew he was helping us from the beginning but didn’t have the stats for the first six or seven games. Even then I thought he was one of our best players.”

Somoano: It's been an emotional, long road Somoano: It's been an emotional, long road

Somoano led Carolina to a 21-2-3 record, ACC regular-season and Tournament titles, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and the national championship. UNC became just the second school (Virginia) to win the ACC regular-season and Tournament titles and the NCAA championship in the same season. The Tar Heels went 13-0-2 at home and 5-1-2 in ACC regular-season play.

Somoano became the second coach to win the title and third to win at least 20 games in his first season as head coach. He also won ACCCoach of the Year honors.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
CIN 4
PIT 0
Final
BAL 3
TAM 0
Final
NYY 3
CHC 0
Final
MIL 5
STL 1
Final
ARI 2
NYM 5
Final
PHI 0
ATL 1
Final
NYY 2
CHC 0
Final
DET 2
CLE 3
Final
MIA 3
WAS 6
Final
TEX 3
SEA 2
Final
CWS 4
BOS 6
Final
HOU 4
KAN 6
8:10pm Wednesday
MIN 0
TOR 0
Final
ANA 5
OAK 4
Final
SDP 4
COL 2
Final
SFG 2
LOS 1
1:05pm Today
PHI
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
 
1:10pm Today
MIN
TOR
 
2:05pm Today
TEX
SEA
 
3:45pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
6:40pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
Final
CHA 91
CHI 86
Final
ORL 86
IND 101
Final
MIL 103
ATL 111
Final
CLE 114
BRK 85
Final
MEM 106
DAL 105
Final
OKC 112
DET 111
Final
NOP 105
HOU 100
Final
SAN 100
LAL 113
Final
MIA 87
PHI 100
Final
NYK 95
TOR 92
Final
MIN 130
UTA 136
Final
BOS 102
WAS 118
Final
DEN 112
GSW 116
Final
POR 110
LAC 104
Final
SAC 99
PHO 104
Final
TAM 4
MON 5
Final
PIT 4
CLB 3
Final
ANA 4
DAL 3
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
LOS
Final
DUR 6
NOR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR