Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2014-2015 Cavalier of the Year: Morgan Brian

I have been trying and trying to put together the usual ugly photoshop of the FOV COY winner, and I've got a perfect record of failure so far.  That explains some of the delay in honoring the winner.  There just isn't a just-right picture out there like usual.  This is probably because women's soccer gets about 1/1000th the coverage of the sports that usually produce the winner.

Pity, because Morgan Brian is probably - not, not probably, definitely - the top UVA athlete of his or her sport of the illustrious FOV era.  Brian becomes the second Hoo after Danny Hultzen to be a two-time winner, and she came within three votes of winning last year as well.  It can be tough for a non-revenue athlete to overcome a revenue one - or more specifically, a baseball or men's basketball player, as one of them has won the award in four of the previous six years of this thing (including the year Brian shared it with Mike Scott.)  This year was no different; Brian had to overcome a surge of support for Josh Sborz, what with leftover warm happy feelings from baseball awesomeness.  This was no small feat because national championship.

But then, World Cup.  That sat on top of the pile of trophies that Brian hauls around in a dump truck.  She didn't just soak up the atmosphere from the bench, either, she was in for 353 of 630-ish possible minutes.  That's the kind of talent UVA had on its side for three seasons.  It's only fitting that UVA's best athlete in a very long time caps off UVA's best season ever.  Both Morgan Brian and the 2014-15 athletic season will be very, very tough to top.

For posterity, the final results and number of votes:

Morgan Brian - 57
Josh Sborz - 40
Ryan Shane - 13
Malcolm Brogdon - 2
Courtney Swan, Tara Vittese - 1
Eric Bird, Quin Blanding, Denny McCarthy, Leah Smith, Nick Sulzer, Jordan Young - 0


Sandmeistr said...

Looks like post-college performance seems to have affected voting significantly. It's the only thing that explains how an individual and team national champion loses out (let alone finishes third) to a World Cup(!) champion.

Having said that, I love that I get to vote in this every year. Someday the masses will agree with me (again, like in 2013). Until then, wahoowa.

Brendan said...

Brian is basically an individual national champion herself as the winner of the MAC Herrmann Trophy. Lacking any true equivalent to individual-performance sports like tennis and swimming, I'd put that on the same level as Shane's individual title.

Sandmeistr said...

Don't get me wrong. I think Brian is/was exceptional. But I'm not going to put anything that's awarded subjectively on the same level as something that's flat out won.

Heck, an argument could be made that FSU's own Hermann finalist Brynjarsdottir was better than Brian; the Hoos couldn't get past the Noles in three attempts last season and it was mostly because of her.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the "just how awesome was Brian exactly?" debate, it's such breath of fresh air in the midst of bottomless football despair.