CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – United Soccer Coaches and the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) announced on Thursday (Dec. 12) that Cavalier junior Joe Bell (Wanaka, New Zealand) is one of three finalists for the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy, presented by World Wide Technology, based on voting by NCAA Division I men’s soccer coaches.
Bell is the first Cavalier finalist since Alecko Eskandarian won the award in 2002. A Virginia men’s soccer player has won the MAC Hermann trophy on five different occasions – Tony Meola (1989), Claudio Reyna (1993) Mike Fisher (1995 & 1996) and Eskandarian (2002).
Georgetown senior defender Dylan Nealis (Massapequa, N.Y.) and Clemson junior forward Robbie Robinson (Camden, S.C.) are the other two finalists for the prestigious award.
The MAC Hermann Trophy, the most coveted individual honor in NCAA Division I soccer, has been awarded annually since 1967. This year’s winners will be announced on Jan. 3, 2020 at the MAC Hermann Trophy Banquet at the historic Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
Bell was named the 2019 ACC Midfielder of the Year for the ACC Champion and was a First Team United Soccer Coaches All-South Region selection for the No. 1-ranked Cavaliers. The only two matches Bell has missed in his three-year stint in Charlottesville came earlier this season when he was called up to the New Zealand full National Team for friendlies in Ireland and Lithuania.
Serving as a co-captain for Virginia, Bell has tallied 16 points (6g, 4a) in 20 games in this season. His two-goal performance, including the game-winning tally in overtime against SMU, sent Virginia to the College Cup for the 13th time in program history.
Bell’s four assists all came in ACC regular season play and were the second most in league action among his cohorts. Bell is a 5-for-6 in penalty kicks, tied for the second most in the country. In TopDrawerSoccer.com’s midseason list of Top 100 underclassmen players, Bell was listed No. 1 overall. In the classroom, Bell has been a two-time ACC All-Academic team member and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season.
Virginia is set to play in the NCAA College Cup Semifinal on Friday, Dec. 13 against Wake Forest at 8:30 p.m. The match will air live on ESPNU.