Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

UCLA's Stolz, Virginia's Brian Win Hermann Trophies; College Soccer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

UCLA's Stolz, Virginia's Brian Win Hermann Trophies; College Soccer

Article excerpt

For the second year in a row, Morgan Brian of Virginia and Leo Stolz of UCLA were contenders for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy as the nation's top collegiate soccer player.

Last year, Brian won the women's award while Stolz lost the men's award to Patrick Mullins of Maryland. This year, they both were winners.

Brian became the eighth player to win the award back-to-back, and the first woman to do it since Canadian great Christine Sinclair did it while at Portland in 2004 and '05.

Both came a long way to receive the honor. Brian flew in from Los Angeles, where she is in camp with the U.S. national team as they start preparation for this summer's Women's World Cup. Stolz came in from his home in Munich, Germany (via Copenhagen and Washington), where he has returned after graduating from UCLA after the fall quarter and where he has tryouts with three second-division German clubs when he returns. (Though he's projected as a first-round MLS draft pick, he said he wants to be closer to his family in Germany.)

Stolz has come a long way in another way. When he got to UCLA, he was a defensive midfielder, and in his sophomore year, he scored no goals. Before his junior season, coach Jorge Salcedo persuaded him to become an attacking midfielder, and the results were immediate, with Stolz scoring 11 goals. This season, Stolz had nine goals and six assists as UCLA reached the national championship game, where it lost to Virginia.

"Last year, he was a little more of an unknown," Salcedo said. "After his first season, I thought he had a lot of tendencies where he could score goals and create goal-scoring opportunities. He absolutely did. He went from zero goals (as a sophomore) to 11 as more of an attacking midfielder. This last season, he was someone people would plan for and he still had a fantastic year. His DNA isn't as a great goal-scorer, it's more as a facilitator on the soccer field, a great connector who can change the point of attack. I had a heart to heart with him several times telling him he needed him to be a goal-scorer and a creator for us, and he took on that role."

"You have to give full credit to Jorge," Stolz said. …

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