University of Akron junior midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong and sophomore forward Teal Bunbury are among 15 semifinalists that have been named for the Hermann Trophy, men's college soccer's version of football's Heisman Trophy.
Ampaipitakwong and Bunbury have each started all 22 games for the No. 1 ranked Zips, who have a 22-0-0 record and will host Tulsa in a sold-out NCAA Division I quarterfinal game at 4 p.m. today at Lee Jackson Field.
Three finalists for the award will be announced Dec. 11 and be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis for a news conference on Jan. 8, where the winner will be announced. Division I college head coaches with current membership in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) will vote to determine the 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy recipient.
Ampaipitakwong has eight goals and five assists this season. He has three goals in two NCAA Tournament games this season. He was an NSCAA third team All-American last season and is a three-time All-Mid-American Conference First Team honoree.
Bunbury won the MAC Player of the Year honor this season. He leads the country with 17 goals and also has five assists. He has recorded at least one goal or one assist in 16 of the 22 games and scored multiple goals in four games.
The Zips are averaging 2.59 goals per game, which is the highest average among the 203 Division I programs.
This is the second consecutive year UA has been represented on the Hermann Trophy semifinalist list. Former Zips forward Steve Zakuani was named first runner up a year ago before becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Seattle Sounder FC in the MLS SuperDraft.
Zakuani led the nation last season with 20 goals and had seven assists. He was named the MAC Player of the Year and the national player of the year according to Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer.
Check out the Akron Beacon Journal and ohio.com for additional stories on the Zips men's soccer team. I have covered nine of the 12 home games and wrote up several away games.
Features on David Meves, Ben Zemanski, Michael Nanchoff, Teal Bunbury and Caleb Porter can be found online along with stories written prior to the season and prior to the NCAA Tournament.
Stories about the Zips "dominant soccer" style of play and UA's defense can also be found online with comments from Porter, Meves, Zemanski, Bunbury, Ampaipitakwong, Nanchoff, Darlington Nagbe, Kofi Sarkodie, Chris Korb, Blair Gavin, Ben Speas, Chad Barson, Stefan Ostergren and Zarek Valentin.