Aug. 20, 2006
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Senior forward Heather O'Reilly of the University of North Carolina women's soccer team, a starting striker on the U.S. Women's National Team, was named Sunday as the 2006 Preseason National Player of the Year by Soccer Buzz magazine. O'Reilly, a mative of East Brunswick, N.J., was also recognized on the 12-player Soccer Buzz Elite 12, the magazine's preseason All-America Team.
O'Reilly has been a much-decorated player for the Tar Heels in her career, including being named a first-team All-America three times and a National Player of the Year finalist on two occasions. O'Reilly was the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year, the 2004 Soccer Buzz Southeast Region Player of the Year, the consensus 2003 National Freshman of the Year and the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.
O'Reilly scored 18 goals and had 11 assists for 47 points in 2005, leading the Tar Heels in scoring last year. In 2004, she was both an Olympic gold medalist and the 2004 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.
O'Reilly is joined on the Soccer Buzz All-America Team by sophomore forward Kerri Hanks of Notre Dame, junior forward Sel Kuralay of Florida State, junior forward Ashley Pistorius of Texas A&M, junior midfielder Danesha Adams of UCLA, sophomore midfielder Megan Rapinoe of Portland, sophomore midfielder Brittany Taylor of Connecticut, senior midfielder India Trotter of Florida State, junior defender Rachel Buehler of Stanford, junior defender Courtney Hooker of California, junior defender Stephanie Lopez of Portland and senior goalkeeper Tyler Griffin of Vanderbilt. Only three of the 12 preseason All-Americas are seniors.