CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Three members of the fourth-ranked Virginia women’s soccer team have been named to the preseason watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, it was announced by the United Soccer Coaches on Thursday (Aug. 19).
Midfielder Lia Godfrey, forward Haley Hopkins and forward Alexa Spaanstra have all been named to the list. It is the second time in the last three seasons the Cavaliers have had three players on the list. This year, 59 players are on the preseason watch list.
Virginia has had a finalists for the award five times, including two-time winner Morgan Brian (2013, 2014). The other finalists include Amanda Cromwell (1991), Caroline Miller (2012) and Emily Sonnett (2015).
The Hermann Trophy, presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club, is the nation’s highest individual honor recognizing the nation’s National Player of the Year as determined by the voting of Division I coaches who are members of United Soccer Coaches.
Godfrey, an All-America selection and the ACC Freshman of the Year last season, was named to the preseason All-ACC team earlier this week. She led the ACC as a freshman with nine assists and added four goals for a total of 17 points in her first season with the Cavaliers.
Hopkins, a grad transfer from Vanderbilt in her first season with the Cavaliers, is named to the preseason watch list for the third consecutive season. The 2017 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, Hopkins finished her time at Vanderbilt with 34 goals – the second most in program history – and was a two-time All-America selection after earning the distinction last season.
Spaanstra is on the list for the third consecutive season. A two-time All-Region selection by the United Soccer Coaches, she is coming off a junior campaign that saw her earn All-ACC first team honors as she tallied 22 points with 10 goals and two assists. Four of her 10 goals were game-winning goals and she delivered a pair of braces in NCAA Tournament play last year, helping Virginia advance to the College Cup.
Fifteen players become Hermann Trophy semifinalists on Nov. 30 following completion of Division I All-America voting following the fall season. Then on Dec. 8, the top three players from a final round of voting are the 2021 finalists. The 2021 winner is revealed on Jan. 7, 2022, at a ceremony at the historic Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo.