OMAHA, Neb. - Junior forward Ethan Finlay of the Creighton men's soccer team has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in collegiate soccer. The Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year finished the season with a league-leading 15 goals and 34 points. Head coaches of Division I programs with
current membership in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America
(NSCAA) will vote to determine the 2010 MAC Hermann Trophy recipient. Three finalists for the award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 10 and those student-athletes will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis for a news
conference on Jan. 7, 2011, where the winner will be announced.
In addition to being named a semifinalist for college soccer's top honor, Finlay has also earned honors from a pair of soccer websites. Goal.com named Finlay to its second team and TopDrawerSoccer.com listed the Marshfield, Wis., native on its third team. Finlay ranks seventh in the NCAA in both goals (15) and points (34). His enjoyed the best offensive season by a Bluejay since Mike Tranchilla's 15 goals and 37 points in 2002. He ended his junior season ranked ninth in school history with 28 points.
Finlay is the first Bluejay to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist since Andrei Gotsmanov in 2008. The
Jays’ offensive leader joins a long list of former Bluejays which were
up for the same national honor. Julian Nash (2004), David Wagenfuhr (2003) and Tranchilla (2001, 2002) were all semifinalists for the award as well, as Tranchilla finished fourth in the final 2002 vote. Bluejay greats Keith DeFini,
Brian Kamler, Richard Mulrooney, and Ross Paule were all finalists for
the award, while current Creighton assistant coach Johnny Torres won the award in 1997.
Tyler Polak, the MVC Freshman of the Year, was also recognized by both Goal.com and TopDrawerSoccer.com for his outstanding rookie season. The left back was named to the TDS All-Rookie First Team and Goal.com's Freshmen First Team. The Lincoln, Neb., native started all 20 matches for the Bluejays this season, leading all field players with 1,828 minutes played. A member of the United States U-20 National Team pool, he played every minute of CU's first 15 games this season. He had one assist and two goals from his defensive slot, including the game-winning goal against New Mexico in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Jose Gomez also earned postseason recognition from Goal.com, being tabbed to its second team. Gomez, a first-team all-MVC midfielder in his first season with the Bluejays, started all 19 matches he appeared in. He finished second on the team with five goals, nine assists and 19 points. He ranked third in the MVC with 19 points, while he finished the season ranked 17th in the NCAA in assists per game. He scored a point in each of CU's first six matches this season and finsiehd the year with a pair of game-winning goals, including the overtime winner against Dartmouth (Sept. 19).
Creighton appeared in its 18th NCAA Tournament in the last 19 years, finishing the season with a 13-5-2 overall record in the second round of the event. The Bluejays also captured their record 10th MVC regular-season championship with a 5-1-1 league mark.