Dec. 4, 2014
CHICAGO – Virginia women’s soccer senior midfielder Morgan Brian (St. Simons Island, Ga.) was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year, the organization announced Thursday. This year Brian has led the Cavaliers to their second consecutive NCAA Women’s College Cup while also helping the United States Women’s National Team win the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament.
The U.S. Soccer Young Athlete of the Year award was created in 1998 to honor a player who played for a youth national team during the calendar year. A player can only win the award once in their career. Brian, who played for the U-23 National Team in addition to the senior team this year, was a finalist for the award the fourth time in her career in 2014.
Past winners of the award include current U.S. Women’s National Team stars Heather O’Reilly, Lauren Cheney (now Holiday), Tobin Heath and Sydney Leroux.
“The group of players who have won this award have gone on to do some great things and to be listed among them is a true honor and very humbling,” said Brian. “The last two years playing with the National Team have been amazing and I’ve learned a lot from my teammates and coaches. Every player is impacted by all the players and coaches they’ve worked with so I’ve been fortunate to have so many talented people around me. There’s a big year ahead and lot of work to do, and I’m looking forward to competing for a spot in 2015.”
Brian has made 13 appearances, including nine starts, for the United States Women’s National Team in 2014 and was the only collegiate player on the roster for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. She has scored two international goals this year, against Russia in a February friendly in Atlanta and against Haiti in a qualifying match in October in Washington. Brian has 16 career caps and three international goals since her USWNT debut in 2013.
Brian has appeared in 16 games for Virginia this season, tallying 10 goals and 13 assists despite missing eight games due to international duty. A MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, she is the leading scorer in this year’s NCAA Tournament with four goals and eight assists, including tying the NCAA Tournament single-game record with five assists in the 8-0 first-round victory over High Point.
The Cavaliers are making their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Women’s College Cup and will play Texas A&M Friday in a national semifinal in Boca Raton, Fla. Game time at FAU Stadium is 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.