Buffalo senior Jackie Hall has been named among the 28 contenders -- 14 men and women -- for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann trophy, an annual trophy that is given to the nation's best male and female soccer player.
The Hermann trophy is the most prestigious honor in college soccer and has previously been won by MAC alumni Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Teal Bunbury (New England Revolution), both of whom went to Akron. No female MAC soccer player has ever won the trophy but Morgan Brian of the USWNT was the winner last year.
To be considered on the same level as some of those players is truly incredible for Hall. Adam Najem of Akron joins Hall as the only members of the Mid-American Conference to be featured on the list while Hall is one of only five defenders on the list. She also won the MAC Defensive Player of the Year award last season in addition to being named an All-American.
She also led the Bulls to their first-ever MAC championship last year and an NCAA tournament berth before being knocked out by Penn State.
Hall played all 22 of Buffalo's game last season, holding opponents to under five shots on target in 16 of those games while contributing to 14 clean sheets and a 482-minute shutout streak, both program records. She was productive on the offensive end as well, scoring three game-winning goals and four in total.
Her goal in the 82nd minute of the MAC championship game against Western Michigan sent the Bulls to the Women's College Cup.
With names like Texas Tech forward Janine Beckie (Highlands Ranch, CO.), West Virginia junior Kadeisha Buchanan (Brampton, Ontario), Virginia senior Makenzy Doniak (Chino Hills, CA.), and Florida junior Savannah Jordan (Fayetteville, GA.) all returning from being semifinalists for the trophy last year the competition looks tough for Hall.
But if she can lead the Bulls to another MAC crown and add some more goals and a strong postseason push to her resume, she may find herself holding the trophy that Mia Hamm won twice during her time at North Carolina.