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November 28, 2012
Two from Penn State, pair of local products on list

Two male players who hail from the Philadelphia area's and two women who are part of the high powered attack on Penn State's College Cup bound team are among the 15 men and 15 women that have been announced as the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy semifinalists.

Notre Dame's Ryan Finley, who hails from Lumberton, NJ and Georgetown's Steve Neumann who is from New Hope, Pa are on the men's list while Nittany Lions Maya Hayes and Christine Nairn are on the women's list.

The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. It is presented annually in January during a banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

Hayes was a finalist for the award last year. Penn State joins Stanford, North Carolina and Florida State as the only teams with two players on the list. The Hermann Trophy is akin to football's Heisman Trophy and is awarded by the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. Christie Welsh is Penn State's only winner (2001).

Winner of 15-straight Big Ten titles, Penn State sports the nation’s top-ranked scoring attack, averaging 2.92 goals per contest and Nairn has played a big part of it, as she is one of two players in the College Cup that has posted double-digit figures in goals and assists. Nairn was named Big Ten Midfielder of the year and earned All-Big Ten First Team honors for her fourth year.

Joining Nairn in the potent Nittany Lion attack is junior Maya Hayes, who has tallied 15 goal and six assists for the 2012 campaign after playing a pivotal role in helping the U.S. U-20 National Team win the World Cup back in September. Hayes was named Big Ten Forward of the Year for her second-straight season. Both are also on ballot for the Soccer News Net College Boot

Neumann is a three-time All-Big East honoree and 2012 marked his second time on the first team. He is second on the team in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists for 26 points. Neumann's 12 assists rank him first in the Big East Conference and fifth in the nation in helpers. Already this season, the forward was the Big East Offensive Player of the Week and earned a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.

Finley was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and was one of two unanimous selections to the all-conference first team. He led all conference players with 12 goals in league play and ranked second nationally with 18 regular season goals in addition to being third in total points with 40. Finley had five multiple-goal games this season, including a hat trick against Providence. He is also on ballot for the Soccer News Net College Boot

Several players from this year’s Watch List were named semifinalists. On the men’s side, Connecticut’s Carlos Alvarez (Los Angeles), Coastal Carolina’s Ashton Bennett (Claredon, Jamaica), Akron’s Scott Caldwell (Braintree, Mass.), Georgetown’s Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa.), and New Mexico’s Devon Sandoval (Albuquerque, N.M.).

On the women’s side, Watch List players turned semifinalists include Duke’s Natasha Anasi (Arlington, Texas), UCLA’s Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas), North Carolina’s Crystal Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Florida State’s Ines Jaurena (Charenton-le-Pont, France), BYU’s Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall (Park City, Utah), Boston College’s Kristen Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Virginia’s Carolina Miller (Rockville, Md.), Florida’s Erika Tymrak (Bradenton, Fla.), and Penn State’s Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.).

The top three vote-getters for each gender will be announced Thursday, Dec. 6. The winner will be announced during the MAC Hermann Trophy banquet in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

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