University Park, Pa. — Penn State senior forward Simon Omekanda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) has been named to the 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Presented to the nation\’s top player, the Hermann Trophy is collegiate soccer\’s most prestigious honor. The 25-player list, announced by the Missouri Athletic Club, was compiled by a panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
A 2006 First Team Preseason All-America selection, Omekanda is Penn State\’s most dynamic offensive weapon. In 2005, he tied a career high mark by scoring six goals en route to earning First Team All-Big Ten and NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors. Omekanda is also a proficient passer, registering a team-high nine assists a year ago. He currently resides in a sixth-place tie on Penn State\’s career assists list, just 10 behind all-time leader Chris Kelly.
The Penn State program has had one Hermann Award winner in its storied history, forward Jim Stamatis, who earned the honor in 1979.
As a senior, Stamatis capped a standout career with 16 goals and 12 assists for 44 points in 23 games in 1979. He led the Nittany Lions to an 18-4-1 record and the school\’s first appearance in the NCAA Final Four, where the Lions finished third. Stamatis is Penn State\’s leading career scorer with 133 points on 52 goals and 29 assists.
The winner of the M.A.C.\’s Hermann Trophy will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches. A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in early November, with three finalists announced in late November. They will be invited to St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 2, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference to be held in conjunction with the Men\’s College Cup. Both the men\’s and women\’s winners will be presented the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy at a banquet later that evening.
Penn State begins the 2006 regular season in Columbus, Ohio on Fri., Aug. 25 at the Bert and Iris Wolstein Soccer Classic Hosted by The Ohio State University. The Nittany Lions will kick off the year by taking on Furman in an opening round tournament game scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Penn State will wrap-up play at the classic on Sun., Aug. 27 when it meets Hartwick in a noon game. A year ago, the Nittany Lions blanked the Hawks, 3-0, at Jeffrey Field.