Six BIG EAST men's soccer players are among the 15-person semifinalists for the Missouri Athletics Club's Hermann Trophy, presented annually to the nation's top player. Connecticut and Notre Dame were the only two institutions with multiple selections as Huskies' senior midfielder Carlos Alvarez and junior forward Mamadou Diouf were named, along with the Irish senior forward Ryan Finley and senior midfielder Dillon Powers. They are joined on the list by junior defender Andrew Farrell from Louisville and junior forward Steve Neumann from Georgetown.
Head coaches of NCAA Division I programs with current membership in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) will vote to determine the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy recipient. Three finalists for the award will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 6. This year's Hermann Trophy will also be determined partially by fan voting. Fans can vote here. The top three vote-getters for each gender will be announced Thursday, Dec. 6. The winner will be announced during the MAC Hermann Trophy banquet in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.
Alvarez, a senior captain from Los Angeles, Calif., was recently tabbed BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year and has led UConn to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. Alvarez is looking to close out his senior season with an NCAA Championship to add to an incredible career. A two-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection and the 2009 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, Alvarez currently ranks No. 3 all-time at UConn with 42 assists and No. 14 all-time with 82 points. He has recorded seven goals and nine assists for 23 points in 2012, including assists or goals on nine game-winning tallies.
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Diouf, a junior forward from Dakar, Senegal, earned a spot on the list with 15 goals and two assists for 32 points. Diouf has notched six game-winning goals in 2012. A first team All-BIG EAST selection in each of the past two seasons, Diouf has registered 34 goals and five assists in 57 career games, good for .60 goals per game in three years. The BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year tallied the game-tying goal against New Mexico in the NCAA third round to send the contest into overtime this past weekend.
Finley played in all 22 matches this season and ranks second nationally in goals (21) and points (46). The senior forward is third nationally in goals per game (0.95) and fourth in points per game (2.09). Finley led the BIG EAST with 12 goals in league play and was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. He had six game-winning goals, including two golden goals. He scored the golden goal in the title game of the BIG EAST Championship, a 3-2 double-overtime victory over Georgetown. Finley had six multiple-goal games, including one hat trick. His 21 goals rank fifth in Notre Dame history for a single season.
Powers started all 22 matches in the central midfield and posted career-high totals in goals (5) and assists (9). The assist total currently is tied for 19th nationally. Powers, a two-time team captain, tallied three game-winning goals and played 2,011 of a possible 2,044 minutes on the field this season. He earned first team All-BIG EAST honors this season in addition to being a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Powers ended his career by playing in 73 straight games, including 60 consecutive starts.
Farrell was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year this season. Farrell anchored the Cardinals' defense, which is tied for the top spot in the conference allowing 0.62 goals per game in league play. Louisville posted a 7-1 BIG EAST record, winning the Red Division. Farrell was also a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team. He is tied for third on the team with four goals and nine points.
Neumann is a three-time All-BIG EAST honoree and 2012 marked his second time on the first team. He is second on the team in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists for 26 points. Neumann's 12 assists rank him first in the BIG EAST Conference and fifth in the nation in helpers. Already this season, the forward was the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, TopDrawerSoccer.com Forward of the Week and earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.