ST. LOUIS, MO. - (Jan. 11, 2008) – Junior forward Mami Yamaguchi of Florida State University and junior forward O’Brian White of the University of Connecticut are the winners of the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, presented to the top female and male players in NCAA Division I soccer. This year’s award winners share a lot in common. They are both juniors, both forwards and each led Division I soccer in scoring. The winners were decided by a vote of NCAA Division I soccer coaches who are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
Yamaguchi (Tokyo, Japan) is the first Florida State player to claim the top individual honor in women’s soccer. She led the country in points (66), while finishing second in goals (24) and assists (18). Yamaguchi was recognized as the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and earned her first NSCAA/adidas first-team All-America honor.
Yamaguchi led the Seminoles to the national championship game for the first time in school history. In the 2007 NCAA Tournament, she paced the Seminoles with three goals and eight assists. Her eight assists rank as both a single-season and an all-time postseason school record. Yamaguchi owns an assortment of other FSU scoring records. She ranks first all-time in career assists with 30 and sits second in points (94) and goals (32). She began the season registering a point in her first 10 games, while setting the school record by scoring at least one goal in seven consecutive games.
The first runner-up was UCLA sophomore forward Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Texas A&M senior forward Ashlee Pistorius (Bloomington, Ill.) was the second runner-up.
White (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) led all NCAA Division I men’s scorers in points with 53 and goals with 23. He becomes the third player in UConn men’s soccer history to win college soccer’s top individual honor (Hermann Trophy winners: Joe Morrone, Jr., 1980; Chris Gbandi, 2000). White was named the 2007 Big East Offensive Player of the Year and earned NSCAA/adidas first-team All-America honors.
White helped the Huskies capture their third Big East title in four years and earn the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA/adidas final regular season rankings. In the NCAA Tournament, UConn advanced to the quarterfinals where they lost 1-0 to Virginia Tech and MAC finalist Patrick Nyarko. White’s phenomenal junior season attracted the interest of Major League Soccer clubs, but he has indicated he will return for his senior season.
This past season, White had multi-goal efforts on seven occasions, including three hat tricks, becoming the first player in UConn history to tally hat tricks in back-to-back games. He now holds the UConn record for single-season goals and ranks eighth all-time at UConn with 101 career points.
The top runner-up vote getter was Virginia Tech junior forward Patrick Nyarko (Kumasi, Ghana) followed by the 2006 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, Notre Dame senior forward Joseph Lapira (Lake Charles, La.).
The Missouri Athletic Club has been presenting college soccer’s players of the year awards since 1986. The MAC was established in 1903 as an athletic, dining and social club. It has a “Platinum Club of America” status, which is awarded to the top private clubs in the country.
Based in Kansas City, Kan., the NSCAA is the largest coaches' organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1941, it has grown to include more than 26,000 members who coach both genders at all levels of the sport. In addition to a national rankings program for colleges and high schools, NSCAA offers an extensive recognition program that presents nearly 10,000 individual awards every year. It fulfills its mission of coaching education through a nationwide program of clinics and week-long courses, teaching more than 4,000 soccer coaches each year.
An exhibition dedicated to the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy featuring all former recipients of both the MAC and Hermann trophies, the current winners, a replica of the Irish crystal trophy and the original Hermann Trophy is on display at the National Soccer Museum in Oneonta, N.Y.