With the 2018 Men’s College Soccer season into postseason play, there are several standout performers that are strong contenders for the MAC Hermann Trophy which is awarded to the Men’s College Soccer Player of the Year. .
The five individuals listed below are all impact players on teams that are still in play in the NCAA Tournament. They were selected based on what they have accomplished during the course of the season, with goals, assists and consistency of performance among the factors taken into account.
Andre Shinyashiki – Forward – University of Denver
Where would Denver be without Andre this season? His inclusion on this list should not come as a surprise to anyone. The striker has adjusted seamlessly into life as a leader and is having one of the best seasons ever for a striker in college soccer, leading Denver with twenty-eight goals. While he is clearly Denver's star player, Andre is also making a strong case to be named the best player in college soccer.
Denver will host Air Force in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Andrew Gutman – Defender – Indiana University
Gutman's selection should also not come as a surprise. On his day, he is unmatched. Relentlessly running at defenders with pace and intent, while also being a tenacious defender. At the heart of every Hoosier attack, he is ranked third in the nation in game winners scored with 6 goal and is ever relentless on the back line. He has ten goals and seven assists so far this season.
Indiana will host Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Omir Fernandez – Midfielder – Wake Forest
While Bruno Lapa does the dirty work in midfield, Omir Fernandez has turned out to be Wake Forest’s maestro, orchestrating attacks with his flair and technique. The 2018 ACC Offensive Player of the Year has eleven goals and six assists on the year. Although his goal scoring has been prolific, it’s his sixth sense with the soccer ball that sets him apart from his peers. Fernandez's ability to control the ball in tight spaces and his touch on the ball have made him a joy to watch this season.
Wake Forest will host Colgate in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Cal Jennings – Forward – UCF
Cal Jennings had a difficult start to life at UCF but has matured into the complete striker this season with improved end-product and decision making. Scott Calabrese has molded this raw talent into a ruthless and highly productive impact player up-front. With twenty goals and five assists he has been an impact player for the Knights.
UCF will host Lipscomb in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Tucker Bone – Midfielder – Air Force Academy
Tucker is essential to Air Forces' high-pressing style as the selfless midfielder is vital in getting other players into play. His defensive contribution at the top end of the pitch is often overlooked and he plays a role that very few others can. Thirteen goals and six assists along with the numerous tackles and interceptions that he has made illustrate the all-round game this talented playmaker possesses.
Air Force will travel to face the University of Denver on Sunday.
Dela Agbotse is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org