Zepeda Named a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Finalist

Sept. 2, 2003

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Santa Clara University senior forward Veronica Zepeda has been named to the "watch list" of players considered among the top candidates for the 2003 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top players in NCAA Division I soccer.

Zepeda of Riverside, Calif., opened the season against third-ranked UCLA last Friday with a goal. She was a third-team NSCAA/adidas All-America as a sophomore when she helped the Broncos to the national championship. Zepeda was named a member of the 2001 College Cup All-Tournament Team for her performance in the post season. Last season, she provided a clutch performance, including two scores against North Carolina in the 2002 College Cup semifinal. In 2000, she was one of only four high schoolers among the 30 players on the U.S. Olympic training roster.

"She's as good a dribbler as there is," head coach Jerry Smith said about Zepeda after the team's season opener. "She's not that fast, not that quick, and she's certainly not that big and strong. But she has that sixth sense about balance. She's going to be more effective as the team starts to get better."

The M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy is college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport. Past recipients include some of the biggest names in soccer, such as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan and Cindy Parlow, as well as former Broncos Mandy Clemens and Aly Wagner. Clemens won both the Hermann Trophy and MAC Player of the Year awards in 1999, while Wagner became the honoree to have the distinction of receiving the newly-unified award.

Rounding out the women's ballot are two players each from Texas and North Carolina: Kati McBain and Kelly Wilson for the Longhorns and Catherine Reddick and Lindsay Tarpley for the Tar Heels. Also included are Chrissie Abbot of West Virginia, Nicole Barnhart of Stanford, Michelle Biehl of Villanova, Candace Chapman of Notre Dame, Courtney Crandell of Charlotte, Keeley Dowling of Tennessee, Melanie Kasparek of Rhode Island, Joanna Lohman of Penn State, Nandi Pryce of UCLA, Aleshia Rose of BYU and Christine Sinclair of Portland. Biographies on all players can be found at nscaa.com.

The winner will be announced at the end of the season.

Santa Clara will return to action next week, hosting Pacific on Thursday at 7 p.m. The athletic department will celebrate "Soccer Moms & Daughters" and "Girl Scouts" Night, admitting for free daughters who bring Mom, as well as girl scouts wearing their uniforms or pins. Santa Clara will conclude that weekend with a Sunday match against 16th-ranked California at 1 p.m. Both matches will take place at Buck Shaw Stadium.

M.A.C. Herman Women's Finalists

Name YearPosition SchoolHometown
Chrissie Abbott Sr. Forward West Virginia North Olmsted, Ohio
Nicole Barnhart Jr. Goalkeeper Stanford Gilbertsville, Pa.
Michelle Biehl Jr. Defender Villanova Southampton, Pa.
Candace Chapman Jr. Defender Notre Dame Ajax, Ontario
Courtney Crandell So. Forward Charlotte Des Moines, Iowa
Keeley Dowling Jr. Defender Tennessee Carmel, Ind.
Melanie Kasparek So. Midfield Rhode Island Trumbull, Conn.
Joanna Lohman Sr. Midfield Penn State Silver Spring, Md.
Kati McBain Sr. Midfield Texas Los Altos, Calif.
Nandi Pryce Sr. Defender UCLA Casselberry, Fla.
Catherine Reddick Sr. Defender North Carolina Birmingham, Ala.
Aleshia Rose Sr. Midfield BYU Lakewood, Colo.
Christine Sinclair Jr. Forward Portland Burnaby, British Columbia
Lindsay Tarpley So. Forward North Carolina Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kelly Wilson Jr. Forward Texas Odessa, Texas
Veronica Zepeda Sr. Forward Santa Clara Riverside, Calif.