Nov. 29, 2007
Three Notre Dame women's soccer players - matching the most from any team - are among the 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy national player-of-the-year award, as announced this week by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Notre Dame players among the final-15 candidates for the prestigious award include junior forward Kerri Hanks (the 2006 Hermann recipient), senior forward/midfielder Amanda Cinalli and junior M/F Brittany Bock.
Considered to be college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy, the Hermann Trophy is selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are current NSCAA members. Three men's and three women's finalists for the respective 2007 Hermann Trophies will be announced on Friday, Dec. 14, in conjunction with the semifinal rounds of the 2007 NCAA Men's College Cup. The winners then will be announced at a banquet at the MAC in St. Louis, on Friday, Jan. 11 - where they will be presented the prestigious crystal soccer ball that has come to symbolize the highest level of individual achievement in intercollegiate soccer.
Notre Dame currently is the only school with final-15 candidates for both the men's and women's Hermann Trophy awards, as Irish senior forward Joe Lapira is a semifinalist for the 2007 men's award. Hanks and Lapira in 2006 became the first players from the same school ever to sweep the Hermann Trophy awards in the same year.
Hanks is the only player to be among the final-15 Hermann Trophy candidates in each of the past three seasons and is one of five players who are making repeat appearances as semifinalists (others include UCLA's Danesha Adams, UNC's Yael Averbuch, Portland's Stephanie Lopez and Texas A&M's Ashlee Pistorius. UCLA joins Notre Dame with three players among the final-15 candidates for the 2007 Hermann Trophy while North Carolina (2) is the only other team with multiple players on the list.
Notre Dame joins UCLA, Portland, West Virginia and Florida State as teams that are set to compete in the NCAA quarterfinals with players on their rosters who are Hermann Trophy semifinalists.
Notre Dame players have combined to be named to the Hermann Trophy final-15 list a total of nine times over the past three seasons (2005-07), representing the most semifinalists from one team during that three-year span (followed by UNC with seven semifinalists from 2005-07, UCLA with six and Portland with five). The six Irish players who have combined for the nine semifinalist honors over the past three years include Hanks ('05-'07), midfielder Jen Buczkowski ('05-'06), forward Katie Thorlakson ('05), defender Candace Chapman ('05), Bock ('07) and Cinalli ('07).
The six-year history of the combined M.A.C./Hermann award has seen Notre Dame produce multiple players among the final-15 candidates in each of the past five years. In 2003, forward Amy Warner and center back Melissa Tancredi made the list while 2004 saw Thorlakson and Tancredi advance to the final-15 M.A.C./Hermann list that season.
West Virginia forward Ashley Banks also is among the final-15 candidates for the 2007 Hermann Trophy, making the BIG EAST one of three conferences in the nation with multiple teams that have players on the semifinalist list.
Hanks (Allen, Texas) in 2006 became the youngest player by class year - male or female - ever to receive the Hermann Trophy. She was the nation's first player to reach double-digit goals and assists during the 2007 season, with only five players joining her in that distinction (from the 313 other Division I teams). Hanks (13G-18A) leads the nation in assists and ranks fourth in total points (44) while joining Florida State's Mami Yamaguchi (23G-16A) as the only D-I players this season with 12-plus goals and 12-plus assists. Earlier this season, Hanks became the third Division I women's soccer player ever to reach 50 career goals and 50 assists prior to her senior season (now 63 goals and 55 assists, which already ranks 18th on the NCAA career assists list).
Bock (Naperville, Ill.) - named the BIG EAST Conference 2007 co-offensive player of the year - joins Hanks to form one of the nation's top-scoring tandems. All but two of Bock's 33 points this season (15G-3A) have come during Notre Dame's current 16-game unbeaten streak, in 14 games played (11G-3A). She led the BIG EAST with 10 goals during conference play while her 15 goals currently rank 14th in the nation and are the fourth-most by any player among the five teams still competing in the NCAAs. Bock was named the national player of the week in back-to-back weeks during a midseason stretch that saw her post matching nine-point weekends (4G-1A): first at Syracuse (3G) and St. John's (1G-1A) and then at home versus Georgetown (2G) and Villanova (2G-1A). Nearly half of Bock's career goals with the Irish (19 of 39) have come on headers, including seven this season (most recently the goal that opened the scoring in the 3-2 NCAA round-of-16 win at UNC).
Cinalli (Maple Hts, Ohio), slowed by a midseason hamstring injury, has totaled three goals and five assists in 2007 while appearing in 19 of the 24 games. The four-year starter has led the way for Notre Dame's current senior group that has helped the Irish total 90 wins during the 2004-07 seasons (making them the nation's winningest senior class for the current season). Cinalli (34G-31A) joins Hanks and Bock (39G-19A) in giving Notre Dame three players with 30-plus career goals, making the 2007 squad the first Irish team since 1999 with that distinction. One of 12 Notre Dame players ever to reach 30 career goals and 30 assists, Cinalli has appeared in 98 career games and is close to becoming the seventh Notre Dame player ever to log 100 career games.
All but one of the 15 semifinalists for the 2007 Hermann Trophy (all except Portland's Lopez) are forwards or midfielders. Notre Dame junior left back Elise Weber (Elk Grove, Ill.) earlier was one of 54 candidates (12 of them defenders) on the final ballot for the 2007 Hermann Trophy.
An exhibition featuring the current and past winners of the MAC Hermann Trophy is on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y.
Notes on Notre Dame's Hermann Trophy history follow below, as do updated bios for the three Irish semifinalists:
FANTASTIC FOURS - The 2005 quartet of Thorlakson, Chapman, Buczkowski and Hanks marked the fifth time in ND women's soccer history (first since '99) that four players from the same Irish women's soccer team have been placed on the elite final-10/15 list for the MAC or Hermann awards (also in '97, '98 and '99), with those honors merging in 2002 ... each of those three previous seasons did not feature four Irish players on the final 10/15 lists for both the M.A.C. and Hermann ... the 1996 season saw two ND seniors (M Cindy Daws and G Jen Renola) join a pair of juniors (M Holly Manthei and D Kate Sobrero) on the MAC final-15 list but Daws and Manthei were the only Irish players on the similar Hermann final-15 list ... then, in '97, four ND players again were on the MAC final-15: Manthei, Sobrero, sophomore D Jen Grubb and sophomore M Jenny Streiffer (Manthei and Makinen, then a sophomore M, were among the final-10 for the Hermann in '97) ... in 1998, Streiffer, Grubb and Makinen were joined by junior 'keeper LaKeysia Beene on the Hermann final-15 list (Streiffer, Grubb and Beene also were on the '98 MAC final-15 while Makinen was not eligible for the award that year due to a restriction of foreign players that has since been lifted) ... finally, in '99, four ND players - Beene, Grubb, Makinen and Streiffer - were among the final-15 for the M.A.C. Award while each of those players (with the exception of Grubb) were among the Hermann final-15 in '99.
AND THE WINNER IS ... - Former ND midfielders Daws ('96) and Makinen ('00) both swept the Hermann and MAC awards during their senior seasons while Hanks then received the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2006 ... Daws earlier was one of three finalists for the 1994 Hermann and among the top-four in the '94 MAC voting, later joining Manthei among the three finalists for the Hermann during the 1995 national championship season ... Manthei then was among the four finalists for the '97 MAC award, Makinen was one of five finalists for the '98 Hermann and Thorlakson was one of three finalists for the 2005 MAC Hermann Trophy.
NEARLY 15 YEARS OF ELITE-LEVEL TALENT - The past 14 seasons - dating back to ND's first appearance in an NCAA championship game ('94) - have seen Irish players named to the Hermann and/or M.A.C. final 15/10 list 35 times (counting each player just once per season): Daws in '94; Daws and Manthei in '95; Daws, Manthei, Renola and Sobrero in '96; Grubb, Manthei, Makinen, Sobrero and Streiffer in '97; Beene, Grubb, Makinen and Streiffer in '98 and again in '99; Makinen in 2000; junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky in '01 (MAC); Tancredi and Warner in '03; Tancredi and Thorlakson in '04; Buczkowski, Chapman, Hanks and Thorlakson in '05; Buczkowski and Hanks in '06; and Hanks, Cinalli and Bock in '07.
Kerri Hanks UPDATED BIO CAPSULE (Jr., F; Allen, Texas) - In 2006, she became the youngest player by class year - male or female - ever to receive the Hermann Trophy ... was the nation's first player to reach double-digit goals and assists during the 2007 season, with only five players joining her in that distinction (from the 313 other Division I teams) ... currently one of two players in the nation with 12-plus goals and 12-plus assists ... leads nation with 18 assists while ranking fourth nationally with 44 points (13 goals) ... third Division I women's soccer player ever to reach 50 career goals and 50 assists prior to her senior season (now 63 goals and 55 assists; 181 points) ... already ranks 18th on the NCAA career assists list ... had a 13-game point streak snapped in the second round of the 2007 NCAAs (also ended '06 on 13-game point streak) ... had 22G-22A in 2006, joining former UNC great Mia Hamm as only D-I players ever to lead nation in goals and assists for same season ... her 28 goals in 2005 were the third-most ever posted by a D-I player in her freshman season ... one of 12 D-I players ever to reach 55G-55A ... owns an assortment of nearly 60 Notre Dame records, including career goals in the postseason (17), career points per game (2.38) and career goals per game (0.83) ... her career avg. of 0.72 assists/gm ranks sixth in the NCAA record book ... her 2005 honors included second team NSCAA All-American and national/BIG EAST freshman of the year ... named a first team NSCAA All-American in '06 ... has 49 career points (15G-19A) on set-play/dead-ball situations ... member of U.S. U-21 National Team (has trained with full National Team) ... has points in 19 of 22 career postseason games ... has posted 3A in two different NCAA Tournament games during her career, plus another game with 3G-1A ... her five career hat tricks (one shy of ND record) include 3G-1A in first gameof career and 4G in second game.
Brittany Bock UPDATED BIO CAPSULE (Jr., M/F; Naperville, Ill.) - Named the BIG EAST Conference 2007 co-offensive player of the year, after leading the league with 10 goals in BIG EAST regular-season play ... has scored 14 of her 15 goals (and all three of her assists) in team's current 16-game unbeaten streak (14 GP in that span) ... ranks 14th nationally in goals, with her 15 goals ranking fourth-most among players whose teams are set to compete in the NCAA quarterfinals ... named national player of the week in back-to-back weeks, after totaling 4G-1A in road wins at Syracuse and St. John's (Oct. 5/7; honor from NSCAA) and then duplicating that 4G-1A versus Villanova and Georgetown on Oct. 12 and 14 (honor from Soccer America) ... member of U.S. Under-21 National Team who also trained with the full National Team in early 2007 ... converted midfielder who is one of nation's most versatile and all-around talented offensive players ... her shift to forward has spearheaded Notre Dame's dominance over the past two months (45-8 scoring edge in unbeaten streak), as she snapped out of a seven-game goal drought by registering a career-best five-game goal streak ... also named a CoSIDA second team Academic All-American (3.25 cum. GPA; marketing major) ... on the verge of reaching the 20G-20A milestone for her career (39G-19A; 97 pts) while her 13 career game-winning goals (in 68 total games/58 starts) include a team-best seven this season ... became the sixth Notre Dame player ever to score the first three goals in a game (at Syracuse) and has totaled nearly half of her career goals (19 of 39) on headers, in addition to four rare header assists during her career ... one of her biggest goals of the season was a far-post header via a free-kick service from Kerri Hanks, giving the Irish a 2-1 overtime win over BIG EAST rival Connecticut ... also had header goal that opened scoring in 15th minute of NCAA third-round win at UNC (3-2) ... was an NSCAA second team all-region selection in 2006 and was named second team all-BIG EAST in each of her first two seasons with the Irish (1st team in '07) ... her nine career goals in NCAA Tournament play are one shy of the Notre Dame record ... capped off her selection to the 2006 NCAA all-tournament team with a header goal in the national championship game versus North Carolina, after earlier scoring in the third round versus Colorado (3-0) and then adding assists against Penn State (4-0 quarterfinal) and Florida State (2-1 semifinal) ... was among a select group of student-athletes who were accepted as early enrollees at Notre Dame during summer of 2005.
Amanda Cinalli UPDATED BIO CAPSULE (Sr., F/M; Maple Heights, Ohio) - Slowed by hamstring injury but has totaled three goals and five assists in 2007 while appearing in 19 of the 24 games ... two-year starter with U.S. Under-20/21 National Teams ... four-year starter with Irish who has led the way for senior group that has helped ND go 90-9-4 during '04-'07 seasons (nation's winningest senior class; ND's 17-2-0 record in the NCAAs from '04-'07 also is best in nation) ... member of ND's 30G-30A club (34G-31A in her career; 99 pts) ... her versatility as a forward/midfielder has played key role in ND's success the past two seasons ... had double-digit goals in each of her first three seasons ... ranks 10th in ND history with 98 career games played (she had not missed any games before the 2007 injury) ... tied her career high with a five-point game (2G-1A) in '07 win over Princeton (4-2) ... had assist on opening goal in 2007 NCAA second-round win over Illinois (2-0) ... her eight career goals in the NCAAs are fourth-most ever by an ND player ... an NSCAA second team all-region selection in '06 ... named to all-BIG EAST team each of her first three seasons ... serves as 2007 team solo captain ... has totaled four career game-winning goals in postseason play (third-most in ND history) ... her three career GWGs in the NCAAs are one shy of that ND record ... holds ND career records for "first goals" in the postseason (6) and in the NCAAs (5) ... scored in 2007 preseason exhibition vs. #1 UNC (2-2) and had 2G in 3-1 exhibition win over #11 Virginia (3-1) ... ranked 5th in nation with 17 assists in 2005 ... her 2G-1A sparked comeback to beat #1 Santa Clara in 2006 (3-1) ... scored game's first two goals in 2004 NCAA quarterfinal victory over Portland (3-1), with ND going on to win national title ... was nominated for the 2007 Lowe's Senior Class Award ... already has received two prestigious awards from Notre Dame: the Mike Russo Award (in 2006; one recipient) and the Francis Patrick O'Connor Award (2007; two recipients) ... the Russo Award, presented by ND Alumni Association, recognizes exemplary qualities in students who epitomize, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, caring nature and great sense of humor ... the O'Connor Award honors student-athletes who best display true spirit of Notre Dame (caring, courage, confidence, encouragement, humility, honesty, humor, kindness and patience) ... a pre-professional studies major, with 3.12 cumulative GPA ... intends to attend graduate school and ultimately medical school, with interest in emergency practice or pediatrics.