Dec. 14, 2007
CARY, N.C. - Joseph Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic), a senior forward on the Notre Dame men's soccer team, has been named a finalist for the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy. The award is presented annually to the top men's soccer player in the United States. Lapira received the trophy last season. This year's winner will be announced during a nationally-televised news conference on January 11, 2008.
A panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) compiled the list of three finalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy. Lapira will try to become the first back-to-back recipient of the most prestigious award in college soccer since Virginia's Claudio Reyna took home the Hermann Trophy in 1992 and 1993.
Lapira led the Fighting Irish in points (28), goals (9) and assists (10) this season. He finished his distinguished collegiate career ranked fifth in school history in both goals (41) and total points (105). For the second straight season, Lapira was a unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection in addition to being named to the all-BIG EAST Championship team.
Joining Lapira as a finalist for the award is fellow BIG EAST Conference foe O'Brian White from Connecticut and Virginia Tech's Patrick Nyarko. Both White and Nyarko are junior forwards.
White leads the NCAA in scoring with 23 goals and 53 points. He was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors. Nyarko, a three-time all-ACC selection, has seven goals and 10 assists heading into this evening's NCAA Championship semifinal match against Wake Forest.
The trio will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 11, for a news conference, where the winner of the award will be revealed. The announcement will be carried live on ESPNews (7 p.m. EST). A banquet at the Club that evening will feature the formal presentation of the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy to the winner.
The Hermann Trophy dates back to 1967 and it was merged with the M.A.C. Player of the Year in 2002 to create the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy. Lapira became the first Notre Dame men's player to capture the award. The Irish made it a clean sweep last season as Kerri Hanks
received the women's Hermann award. That was the first time that both the male and female winners came from the same school in the same year.
Last season, Lapira became the first player in program history to be named a finalist for the award. He won the trophy as he paced all NCAA Division I men's players with 22 goals and 50 points.
Lapira and the Fighting Irish advanced to the NCAA Championship quarterfinals for the second straight year before falling to No. 2 Wake Forest, 1-0, in overtime last weekend.
2007 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Finalists
As selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
F Joseph Lapira Sr. Notre Dame Lake Charles, La.
F Patrick Nyarko Jr. Virginia Tech Kumasi, Ghana
F O'Brian White Jr. Connecticut Scarborough, Ont.