West Virginia University women’s soccer forward Frances Silva has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) today.
The award is college soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport.
Silva is one of 15 student-athletes selected as semifinalists by a committee of Division I coaches who are NSCAA members. The senior from Overland Park, Kan., is the third Mountaineer to reach the semifinal round for the prestigious award and the first to be named to the list despite not earning a spot on the preseason watch chart. Ashley Banks advanced in 2007 and Chrissie Abbott qualified in 2003; Abbott was eventually named one of three finalists.
“Action speak louder than words, and I think everything that Frances did this year was recognized and put her on the national map,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “It’s been about getting the results all season for her, and I think it’s hard not to recognize all that Frances accomplished this year. For her to be the leader that she was for us all season long and to now be on this elite list with such accomplished athletes is a very deserving honor.”
A unanimous selection as the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Silva led the Mountaineers (16-4-3, 7-1 Big 12) to their second straight conference regular-season title and first Big 12 Soccer Championship title. An All-Big 12 First Team selection, she scored three goals in WVU’s Big 12 Championship run, including two game-winners, and was named the championship’s Offensive MVP.
Silva led the Big 12 in goals (15), assists (13) and points (43) and currently ranks No. 23, No. 7 and No. 10 in the NCAA in the respective categories. Her assist total is a WVU single-season record, while her season point total ranks No. 2 all-time and her goal mark ranks No. 4.
A 2013 Senior Class Award candidate, Silva was named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for NCAA Division I women’s Soccer last week. She earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism in three years, carrying a 3.97 grade point average (GPA), and is pursuing a master’s degree in sport management.
“Frances has set a standard of excellence for our underclassmen – she has achieved at the highest level in the classroom and on the playing field,” continues Izzo-Brown. “She has set the bar for this program and has served as an unbelievable role model. Not many other programs can say they have a Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year.”
NCAA Division I coaches who are NSCAA College Services members may vote for their top choices in the coming week. Soccer fans also can vote for their favorite player on the MAC’s website hosted by LockerDome, starting Thursday, Dec. 5.
“This is a great opportunity for Mountaineer Nation to recognize everything Frances has done for West Virginia University and the state of West Virginia,” says Izzo-Brown. “She has accomplished so much, and now it’s our turn to get behind her and vote for her to win this exceptional honor.”
The top three vote-getters from the combined NSCAA coaches and weighted fan votes will be announced as finalists Thursday, Dec. 12. The announcement of the winners will follow at a banquet on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.