Three Soccer Standouts Named National Player of Year Candidates
Three America East soccer standouts have been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Preseason Watch, the Missouri Athletic Club announced Monday. The Hermann Trophy is given to the top men's and women's collegiate soccer players in the nation each year.
America East is one of only three non-FBS conferences to have multiple student-athletes listed on the women's list, joining the Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conference. Those student-athletes are University of Hartford's Caitlin Alves and Erin Quinlan, both All-Americans a year ago, who are one of just seven sets of teammates on the women's list. Stony Brook University's Leonardo Fernandes, the two-time America East Midfielder of the Year, is on the men's list.
Alves, a senior attacker, led Hartford to a 13-2-3 record last year by pacing America East in goals (10), ranking second in points (25) and tying for fifth in assists (5). Also a NSCAA Scholar All-American last year, Alves tallied six game-winning scores, which ranked among the nation's best.
Quinlan, a junior, was one of the top goalkeepers in the nation last season. She led the country with a .932 save percentage and allowed only seven balls by her all year en route to a 0.38 goals-against average. The 2012 America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Quinlan had 12 shutouts a year ago.
Fernandes, a senior, led Stony Brook to the America East title last year, earning the championship's Most Outstanding Player award along the way, as he paced the league in points (25), goals (9) and was second in assists (7). In his illustrious career, Fernandes has led his team to two championships, earned Rookie of the Year and Midfielder of the Year accolades twice and been a three-time first-team all-conference selection.
Each list will be narrowed down by NSCAA members from Division I programs to 15 semifinalists by November 29. Member coaches and fans will then vote for their top three choices and the finalists will be announced December 6. The winners will be announced at the awards’ banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club on Friday, Jan. 11.
America East soccer has experienced great success of late. Boston University women's team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship a year ago, picking up the league's 11th all-time NCAA win. On the men's side, America East teams have advanced in the second round and eight of the last 11 years while going unbeaten (1-0-2) in NCAA play the last two years. Additionally, the two sports have produced a combined nine All-Americans over the last four years.
The 2012 campaign gets underway with six women's soccer teams in action on Friday, while the men kick things off on Aug. 24 with five teams in action.
ABOUT THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Into its fourth decade of operation, America East has evolved into one of the most comprehensive NCAA Division I conferences with a commitment to broad-based, competitive athletics programs, complementing the academic integrity and missions of the member institutions. Progressive in its approach to its more than 3,400 student-athletes, America East recognizes champions in each of its 20 sports and also conducts the nation’s most comprehensive academic recognition program for student-athletes. With a geographic footprint covering the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions of the United States, America East strives to develop champions in academics, athletics and leadership at its nine member institutions: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.