Ben Arikian Named To Hermann Trophy Watch List
Aug. 11, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Junior midfielder Ben Arikian (West Islip, N.Y.) made history on Tuesday as he became the first-ever UMass men's soccer player to be named to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List. The reigning Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year and a 2009 preseason All-American, Arikian joins some of the finest players in the country on the initial watch list for college soccer's most prestigious award.
"This is a great honor for Ben and for our program to have a one of our players earn this national recognition," said head coach Sam Koch. "Ben has one of the best work ethics I've seen; he never quits and in his two years here he has flat out work his tail off."
In all, 38 of college soccer's best players entering the 2009 season were named to the watch list.
"It's a very special feeling for me to be nominated for the Hermann Trophy and to be the first player from UMass with so many tremendous players who have been a part of the program," said Arikian. "I feel very confident for the upcoming season and we as a team have high expectations."
Arikian led the Minutemen in points (15) and assists (seven), while his assist total ranked third in the A-10 last season. He contributed four goals on the year and scored or assisted the game-winning goal in eight of Massachusetts' 10 wins. He was a 2008 All-Conference first-team honoree and named to the Mid-Atlantic All-Region first-team by the NSCAA.
As a freshman in 2007, he was named to the Soccer America All-Freshman Second-Team and the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team after scoring two goals and netting a team-high six assists for 10 points.
Prior to UMass, Arikian was a 2005 All-American at West Islip High School. He tallied 47 assists and 33 goals for his prep career.
Arikian's time at UMass has coincided with two of the program's best seasons in its 76-year history. In that span, UMass has posted a 27-16-4 overall record, made two NCAA Tournament appearances, were NCAA National Semifinalists in 2007, won the 2007 Atlantic 10 Tournament Title and won the 2008 A-10 Regular-Season Title.
The midfielder's tenacious play has helped drive that success as six of his 13 career assists have come against team's ranked in the top-20 nationally. In 2008, he set-up three of the four goals scored in two wins over perennial national power Saint Louis. His two assist effort last year against the No. 10 Billikens combined with his dramatic double-overtime golden goal two days later against Charlotte earned him NSCAA National Player of the Week honors. In 2007, he picked up a pair of assists in the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAA Second Round, Arikian set-up the game-tying score against No. 1 Seeded Boston College to fuel one of the biggest upset wins not only in UMass soccer history, but in the history of all UMass athletics.
The youngest of four children, Arikian's older siblings were also standouts on the pitch. His sister Beth and brother Shane were both starters at Stony Brook. Beth was an All-Conference selection as a senior, while Shane still holds the school record for goals in a game (4). Courtney Arikian was a four-time all-conference standout at Loyola (Md.) and ranks fourth all-time in goals and points.
Marcus Tracy of Wake Forest won the 2008 Hermann Trophy as college soccer's best player. The MAC has honored the top player in collegiate soccer since 1986. Some of the biggest names in soccer, such as Mia Hamm and Claudio Reyna, have won the award. For a complete list of past winners, go to www.mac-hermann-trophy.org. An exhibition featuring the current and past recipients of the MAC Hermann Trophy is on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y.
Senior forward Byron Dacy (Creighton/Omaha, Neb.) has achieved a first by earning a fourth listing on the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List. His status as fifth-year senior opened the door for Dacy to become the first player to be included on four different versions of the Watch List. He suffered a torn ACL in 2007, forcing a medical redshirt year.
Creighton and Loyola University of Maryland led the way on the Watch List with three players each. Drake, Monmouth, Tulsa, UCLA and Wake Forest each placed two on the list.
Considered the highest individual honor in intercollegiate soccer, the recipients of the MAC's Hermann Trophy are selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. A list of 15 semifinalists is selected by a coaches committee in November, with three finalists announced in early December. They will invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., for a news conference on Jan. 8, 2010, where the winner will be announced, with a presentation banquet following.
In 1990, women's soccer standout April Kater won the Hermann Trophy as the only UMass player in men's and women's history to do so.
2009 Men's Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List