More players with experience playing for the Philadelphia Union Academy than ever before were in college soccer this season, but the impact beyond a handful of players was not as much as anticipated going into the year.
Four of the incoming freshman from last year's class didn't see the field at all - Will Campbell (North Carolina), Zach Perez (Rutgers), Nicholas Jachwak (Temple) and Oliver Calvo (Louisville) - and two other starters from the U18 team in Sean Wilson (North Carolina) and Morgan Hackworth (Syracuse) saw precious few minutes.
But one freshman did make a splash: Sebastian Elney. The forward was a starter from day one at Maryland and led the Big Ten Tournament Champions in goals with seven and added two assists in his rookie campaign. His play earned him a spot on the second team all-Conference and gives him the clear nod for the Union Academy in College Freshman of the Year.
I'm going with Connor Maloney for the Offensive Player of the Year. His production slipped after his breakout year last season, but he still led the Nittany Lions with seven goals and a couple of assist despite some injury woes that kept him out of the lineup for a couple games. UMBC senior Darius Madison was my favorite for this honor going into the season, but his production really fell off after a strong start to give him six goals and three assists for the year.
Duke midfielder Brian White, who was on the Union's 2012 Generation adidas Cup squad, also had a productive year with six goals (two game-winners) and an assist and Lehigh sophomore Doyle Tuvesson picked up where he left off his freshman year with four goals and six assists. White, who was the MIdfielder of the Year almost by default, was one of only a few midfielders that started regularly. Villanova freshman Zach Zandi was a valuable contributor to the Wildcats when he was in the lineup - he finished his rookie campaign with a goal and two assists in 10 games, all starts.
Moving to defense, Georgetown senior Keegan Rosenberry is an automatic for Defensive Player of the Year homegrown eligible or not. He finished his four years as the every day right back strong and should go early in the MLS SuperDraft in January. He had a pair of goals and six assists on the year, both career highs and finished with 90 starts, four goals and 13 assists for his career. Other defenders with strong seasons include Indiana starting right back Billy McConnell (1 goal, 4 assists), North Carolina right back Colton Storm (2 goals, 3 assists), Memphis senior center back Quincy Thomas and Xavier junior centerback Todd Pratzner. Notre Dame sophomore center back Patrick Berneski made his Irish debut this season, finishing the season with 9 games and 7 starts.
College soccer gained another Keys goalkeeper in La Salle freshman Cameron Keys this season (along twin brother and teammate Garrett Keys), but it was the older brother who dominated with LIU Brooklyn (they both had clean sheets when they played each other). Logan Keys, a redshirt junior, conceded only eight goals in 14 starts and kept seven shutouts and a 0.53 goals against average. For that, he gets my Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Offensive Player of the Year: Connor Maloney, Junior, Penn State
Midfielder of the Year: Brian White, Sophomore, Duke
Defensive Player of the Year: Keegan Rosenberry, Senior, Georgetown
Goalkeeper of the Year: Logan Keys, Junior, LIU Brooklyn
Rookie of the Year: Sebastian Elney, Freshman, Maryland
Goalkeeper: Logan Keys, Junior, LIU Brooklyn
Defender: Keegan Rosenberry, Senior, Georgetown
Defender: Billy McConnell, Junior, Indiana
Defender: Colton Storm, Junior, North Carolina
Defender: Todd Pratzner, Junior, Xavier
Midfielder: Brian White, Sophomore, Duke
Midfielder: Zach Zandi, Freshman, Villanova
Forward: Connor Maloney, Junior, Penn State
Forward: Darius Madison, Senior, UMBC
Forward: Doyle Tuvesson, Sophomore, Lehigh
Forward: Sebastian Elney, Freshman, Maryland