Thursday, November 29, 2012
The semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy were announced on Wednesday, with the Penn State duo of Christine Nairn and Maya Hayes leading the contingent of current and former W-League players who remain in contention for the most prestigious award in Women’s NCAA Soccer. In all, six players who have played in the W-League were named, with the three finalists set to be unveiled next week.
Nairn, who previously played for D.C. United Women, and Hayes, who played this summer for the New Jersey Wildcats, have led the Nittany Lions’ charge to the College Cup. The Big Ten champions have seen Nairn lead the side with 16 goals and 11 assists this season, with the senior scoring the only goal of the game in their 1-0 victory against Duke in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals this past Friday night.
Hayes has provided ample support in attack for PSU since her return from helping the U.S. U20 National Team claim the U20 Women’s World Cup in Japan earlier this fall. After claiming W-League Player of the Week honors on June 7 for the Wildcats, Hayes has scored 15 goals and six assists for the Nittany Lions this fall.
Hayes’ U.S. U20 teammate Crystal Dunn was selected after a standout season for North Carolina following her return from the U20 Women’s World Cup. Dunn, a former standout for the Long Island Rough Riders, had five goals and three assists to help lead the Tar Heels back to the College Cup this weekend.
Stanford’s Rachel Quon, a former standout for the Pali Blues, was also selected after another standout season for the Cardinal as they try to defend their national championship. A key player in Stanford’s defense, Quon started all 23 games this season, scoring a pair of goals and adding seven assists.
LA Strikers standout Zakiya Bywaters earned her selection after leading UCLA with 15 goals and 34 points this season. The Bruins reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament before being edged out by Stanford, with Bywaters playing a leading role in the Bruins’ second-place finish in the Pac-12.
Florida’s Erika Tymrak rounded out the group after leading the Gators to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament this fall. A former player for the Bradenton Athletics, Tymrak led the Gators with nine goals and 12 assists this fall to complete a standout career in Gainesville that saw her record 104 points, good for sixth in the program’s history.