clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bull Run Awards wrap up with Team, Men's and Women's Sports Bulls of the Year

New, comment

***

Team of the Year - Women's Soccer

Team of the Year - Women's Soccer

MG: The argument here really isn't too different from the one we put forward for Coach of the Year. You really can't argue with undefeated against the MAC, which, by the way, is no easier just because Women's Soccer gets less hype than Men's Basketball: Buffalo was just the third team in conference history to manage the feat, and only trailed twice against MAC opponents in 14 games. The school's next-longest unbeaten streak this year was Men's Basketball's eight games to similarly close out the MAC season, but Bobby Hurley's crew would have only matched Shawn Burke's in the National Championship Game.

And it's not just what they did, but how they did it. Katie Roberts scored the goals and Laura Dougall stopped them, but in between the two each of the other nine positions was seamless. I truly believe you could completely remove any one player from this team and they still would have been MAC Champions. We had a plenty hard time picking out the most outstanding player, and we'd have just as difficult a task if we had to decide on the weakest link.

JM: The choice of team of the year very much mirrored the choice for coach of the year, and my sentiments regarding Shawn Burke in yesterday's Coach of the Year still hold true for his team in this award. This team won a MAC championship for the first time before it was cool, and went to the NCAA tournament before it was cool. I could sit here and throw stats and whatnot at you like I've done before; but, watching this team made me interested in soccer and I gained a new appreciation for a sport that I had written off for so long. If that doesn't speak volumes about what this team accomplished, I don't know what will.

Honorable Mention: Men's Basketball, Men's Tennis

Men's Sports Bull of the Year - Jon Jones

Men's Sports Bull of the Year - Jon Jones

Men's Sports Bull of the Year - Jon Jones

JM: I'll keep this one short and sweet.

He won a national championship.

MG: You might remember that he won a national championship. Check the sidebar link for more on just how impressive this was.

Honorable Mention: No one else considered

Women's Sports Bull of the Year - Kristen Sharkey

Women's Sports Bull of the Year - Kristen Sharkey

Women's Sports Bull of the Year - Kristen Sharkey

JM: For this award I wanted to give it to the person who was the most valuable individual to their team and did the most on said team. All three of Sharkey, Hall, and Burns had excellent seasons, but Sharkey was far and away the most important to her team and did the absolute most. Matt talked about how valuable Sharkey was in the Winter Sports awards post a couple days ago so I'll keep my own remarks brief.

If you were to take Kristen Sharkey out of the lineup of the Women's Basketball team I don't think they win as many games as they did and they sure as hell don't advance to the MAC semifinals and to the program's first WNIT. You knew every play where the ball was going to go and what that person was going to do and Sharkey still put up monster numbers and no one could stop her.

Shark gif 2

MG: Looking back at our decisionmaking process, this was a strangely quick choice. I don't want this award to be a quasi-MVP, quasi-career achievement recognition in the future, even if it feels that way now. But Sharkey is the right choice here. Some outstanding UB athletes had great seasons that didn't impact their whole team as much, and others had great seasons in the midst of an already-great team. Had Women's Basketball played out to the preseason predictions, Sharkey may have fallen in the latter group. But as key player after key player fell aside, and the rotation, let alone the starting lineup, never really settled on a clear group, Kristen Sharkey was there for the Bulls and produced a great season for a team that desperately needed one.

Honorable Mention: Megan Burns, Jackie Hall

Right Shark entertained

***
That pretty much wraps up our coverage of 2014-15. There's only so much we can talk about how excellent this past year was for all of UB Athletics without getting greedy and looking towards more in 2015-16.

Conrad has of course already started the football countdown to 2015-16, but both soccer teams get started well before football. This Sunday I'll be starting a loose daily preview series covering notable names from Men's and Women's Soccer, Volleyball, and Men's and Women's Cross Country that will carry into mid-August, when you can expect more comprehensive and in-depth team previews.

Go Bulls