MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University women’s soccer senior forward Michaela Abam
has been named to the 2017 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List, released today by the United Soccer Coaches.
A Houston native, Abam lands on the list for the first time in her career. At least one Mountaineer has been named to the initial watch list in each of the last seven years, including 2016 Hermann Trophy winner Kadeisha Buchanan.
College soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, the award represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport. The list is compiled by the United Soccer Coaches Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I All-America Committees, based on analysis of returning All-America and All-Region players, as well as any prominent newcomers.
“I’m absolutely thrilled the MAC Hermann Trophy committee has nominated Michaela for this prestigious award,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “It’s exciting to see her on this elite list. She has put a lot of work and dedication in to get to this point, and we’re proud of the attention she is bringing to this program.”
Ten different Mountaineers have been named to the watch list a combined 15 times since 2003. WVU has had eight semifinalists, including Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence in 2015 and 2016. Buchanan was the first-ever Mountaineer to claim the award.
A 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America Second Team honoree and the co-Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Abam has led the Mountaineers in scoring all three seasons at WVU, including last year, as she finished ranked No. 1 in the Big 12, No. 24 nationally, with a career single-season high 33 points (12 G, 9 A). She also ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in game-winning goals (5) and goals, and No. 2 in assists.
A two-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree and the 2014 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Abam enters her senior season ranked No. 8 in WVU history in career goals (32) and No. 9 in career points (77).
The 15 semifinalists for the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy will be announced near the end of November and will be determined by All-America voting conducted by NCAA Division I women's soccer coaches with oversight from the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Women's Senior College All-America Committee. It is important to note that all NCAA Division I players are eligible to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. The Watch List simply serves as a preliminary identification of candidates in contention for the highest individual honor in college soccer.
From the semifinalist pool of 15, six finalists (three men, three women) will be announced in December. The winners will be announced in January.