Thompson, Lillard on MAC Hermann Trophy watch list #iums

Indiana University senior midfielder Tanner Thompson and junior defender Grant Lillard were among the 30 Division I men’s soccer players named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List on Wednesday.

The Hoosiers are one of four schools to place two players on the 2016 watch list and are joined on the list by fellow Big Ten standout Jason Wright of Rutgers.

“Both Tanner and Grant are very deserving to be preseason finalists for the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said in a news release. “They are both exceptional players, and we are proud of the contributions they have made to IU soccer. I expect them both to have outstanding fall seasons.”

Thompson, a semifinalist for the award in 2014 and a member of the 2015 preseason watch list, was a third-team All-American last season by both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and TopDrawerSoccer.com last season after scoring three goals and recording a Big Ten-best nine assists.

Lillard, who was named the best defender in the nation in a 2016 preseason poll coaches poll conducted by TopDrawerSoccer.com, earned first team All-Big Ten and first team All-Midwest Region honors in 2015 for the Hoosiers. Lillard helped anchor a backline that recorded 10 shutouts, while also accumulating four goals and five assists.

Six IU players have previously won the Hermann Trophy, including current assistant coach Brian Maisonneuve in 1994, which is also the same year Yeagley won the MAC Player of the Year. The two awards merged in 2002, and Danny O’Rourke was the last Hoosier winner in 2004.

The 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy watch list will be pared down to 15 players near the end of the college regular season, then three finalists chosen in November with the award winner announced on Jan. 6, 2017, during the annual trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.