Nov. 5, 2004
UCLA senior defender Aaron Lopez (Santa Barbara, CA/Santa Barbara HS) has been selected as one of 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year award for Division I competition. The 15 candidates were selected by a nominating committee of Division I college coaches.
Lopez, one of four semifinalists who were also up for last year's award, is UCLA's team co-captain and has led the Bruins to a 0.82 team goals against average and six shutouts. He has also scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime against No. 18 California. In 2003, Lopez earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and helped the Bruins achieve school records for shutouts (16) and team goals against average (0.52). As a sophomore in 2002, he was the Offensive MVP at the College Cup after scoring the game's only goal in the championship match against Stanford. His strike with 1:02 left in regulation sealed UCLA's fourth NCAA title. Lopez, UCLA's team MVP that season, scored four goals in 2002, three in the playoffs. He started in seven games as a freshman in 2001, scored two goals and received UCLA's Rookie of the Year honors.
The other semifinalists are 2003 semifinalists C.J. Klaas (Washington), Guy Melamed (Boston College) and Abe Thompson (Maryland), along with first-time semifinalists Jason Garey (Maryland), Kevin Goldthwaite (Notre Dame), Matt Groenwald (St. John's), Brad Guzan (South Carolina), Will John (Saint Louis), Drew Moor (Indiana), Julian Nash (Creighton), Danny O'Rourke (Indiana), Ryan Pore (Tulsa), Gonzalo Segares (Virginia Commonwealth) and Jack Stewart (Notre Dame).
The winner will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches. Three men's and three women's finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy will be announced at the 2004 Men's College Cup in December. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 7, 2005, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference. Both winners will be presented with the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy at a banquet later that evening.
The M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy is college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport. UCLA has only had one past Hermann Trophy winner, Brad Friedel in 1992. Sasha Victorine won the M.A.C. Award in 1999.
2004 MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalists:
Jason Garey, F, Jr. (Maryland)
Kevin Glodthwaite, Mf, Sr. (Notre Dame)
Matt Groenwald, Mf, Sr. (St. John's)
Brad Guzan, Gk, So. (South Carolina)
Will John, F, So. (Saint Louis)
C.J. Klaas, D, Sr. (Washington)
Aaron Lopez, D, Sr. (UCLA)
Guy Melamed, D, Sr. (Boston College)
Drew Moor, D, Jr. (Indiana)
Julian Nash, F, Sr. (Creighton)
Danny O'Rourke, Mf., Sr. (Indiana)
Ryan Pore, F, Jr. (Tulsa)
Gonzalo Segares, D, Sr. (VCU)
Jack Stewart, Mf, Sr. (Notre Dame)
Abe Thompson, F, Sr. (Maryland)
Aaron Lopez is a semifinalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy.