Monday, August 13, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – The 2012 MAC Hermann Women’s Watch List was announced on Monday, with Maya Hayes of Penn State the lone returning finalist from 2011. The New Jersey Wildcats standout was among a number of W-League players nominated for college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
Hayes was named the W-League Player of the Week on June 6 following a three-game stretch that saw her score six goals and add three assists. The native of West Orange, N.J. returned home to help the Wildcats reach the W-League playoffs this summer before returning to Happy Valley, Pa. for her junior season this fall.
Last season for the Nittany Lions, Hayes recorded 31 goals in 26 games, leading the nation in both goals and points with 70. The U.S. U20 National Team member is currently in Japan, where she and her teammates are getting set to compete at the U20 Women’s World Cup, which begins on Sunday.
Hayes is joined on the watch list by U20 National Team teammate and Fredericksburg Impact forward Becca Wann, who had five goals in seven games for the Impact this summer. The University of Richmond standout enters her junior season with the Spiders having scored a team-high 15 goals and added six assists for the side in 2011.
Former Long Island Rough Riders standout, and U.S. U20 international, Crystal Dunn was also named to the watch list, with the North Carolina standout having scored three goals and six assists a season ago for the Tar Heels.
After a standout summer for the Pali Blues, Michelle Pao also earned a berth on the watch list, with the Pepperdine junior looking to continue the strong play she displayed in helping the Blues reach the W-League Championship Game. The defender had three goals in addition to helping the Blues limit their opponents to just three goals in the regular season, earning All-Western Conference honors in the process.
2012 W-League champion Kathryn Williamson also made the list, with the University of Florida standout set to marshal the Gators’ defense in a similar manner that she did for the Ottawa Fury this summer. The All-Central Conference selection returns to Gainesville as a two-time All-American, and will make the preseason favorite in the Southeastern Conference a tough proposition for their opponents.
Elsewhere, 2011 semifinalist Tiffany McCarty, who played for both the Washington Freedom Futures and Pali Blues in the W-League, is set to return for a strong senior season at Florida State, while former Bradenton standout Erika Tymrak will look to do the same for their in-state rival Florida. Atlanta Silverbacks forward Alexa Newfield was also selected, coming off a summer where the Georgia standout scored four goals in seven games for her W-League side.
Former D.C. United Women standout Christine Nairn also earned a berth on the watch list, alongside Penn State teammate Hayes, while the Santa Clarita Blue Heat’s Nadia Link was also selected as she enters her senior season at Long Beach State.
Others named to the list included Former Toronto Lady Lynx standout Christine Exeter (Louisville), the Hamilton Rage’s Christabel Oduro (Memphis), the Vancouver Whitecaps Women’s Chelsea Buckland (Oregon State) and the LA Strikers’ Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA).