Dec. 12, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame senior All-America forward Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) is one of three finalists for the 2008 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, it was announced Friday afternoon by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). It's the second time in Hanks' storied career that she has been named a finalist for the national player-of-the-year award, after she earned the honor in 2006 (becoming the first sophomore of either gender to take home the prize).
Hanks is aiming to become just the fourth player in NCAA Division I women's soccer history to be a two-time Hermann Trophy recipient, with previous multi-year honorees including North Carolina's Mia Hamm (1992-93) and Cindy Parlow (1997-98) and Portland's Christine Sinclair (2004-05). Should Hanks be chosen for this year's award, she would be the first recipient (male or female) ever to collect the honor in non-consecutive seasons. She already is one of three Irish player to have earned the Hermann Trophy, joining Cindy Daws (1996) and Anne Makinen (2000), while two others have received national player of the year honors from other organizations -- Jen Renola (1996 by the NSCAA before the award merged with the Hermann Trophy) and Katie Thorlakson (2004 by Soccer America).
"Words probably can't do justice to all that Kerri has done for our program these past four years," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "Simply put, she's one of the best that's ever played the college game. It's been a privilege and an honor to coach her and I know she destined for even greater things at the next level, whether that be with our National Team program, the new Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league, or both."
Christina DiMartino of UCLA and Casey Nogueira of North Carolina join Hanks as finalists for this year's Hermann Trophy, which will be presented Jan. 9 during a news conference at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis. A banquet at the M.A.C. later in the evening will include a formal presentation of the crystal soccer ball trophy to this year's recipient. The finalists were determined in voting by Division I women's soccer coaches who are members of the NSCAA.
Hanks recently completed one of the most storied careers in college soccer history. She holds an astounding 67 school, BIG EAST Conference and/or NCAA records and ranks among the top 25 in NCAA history on 10 single-season or career lists. What's more, she is the only Division I player ever to amass at least 73 goals and 73 assists in her career, finishing with 84 goals and 73 assists. In addition, she is one of just 23 Division I players ever to be a four-year NSCAA All-American, earning first-team honors the past three seasons.
Hanks enjoyed one of her finest seasons in 2008, as the only player in the country to register at least 20 goals and 15 assists (she finished with exactly those totals). She also was the lone Division I player to rank in the top five nationally in total goals, total assists and total points (55), and she set new school records with a 19-game point scoring streak and an 11-game goalscoring streak, the latter run tying for the fifth-longest in NCAA history. Furthermore, she set a record for the fastest goal in NCAA College Cup championship game history, scoring 16 seconds into the first half against North Carolina on the way to earning a berth on the College Cup All-Tournament Team.
Hanks' trophy case has overflowed again this season, starting with her selection as the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, honoring her excellence on the field, in the classroom (she graduated a full semester early with a bachelor's degree in sociology), sportsmanship and community service. She also was a combined seven-time national team of the week selection by Soccer America or Top Drawer Soccer (out of 11 weeks that honors were bestowed), compared to the two awards she garnered during her '06 Hermann Trophy campaign. What's more, she collected her fourth NSCAA first-team all-Great Lakes Region citation, and was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year for the second time (chosen unanimously by the league's coaches) after leading the conference in virtually every meaningful offensive statistic.
During Hanks' four-year career, Notre Dame posted a staggering 92-10-3 (.890) record while advancing to the NCAA College Cup three times and making the national championship game twice. The Irish also won three BIG EAST titles and were ranked No. 1 in the nation three of those four seasons. This year, the Irish reeled off a school-record 26 victories to open the campaign and knocked off 10 ranked opponents while trailing for all of 4:05 the entire season.