SPORTS BRIEF: Men's soccer standout chosen as semifnialist for Hermann Trophy, given to top player in country

Harvard junior forward Andre Akpan has been named as a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in Division I men’s soccer.

This is the second year in a row that the junior has been named one of the top 15 players nationally in collegiate soccer.

Akpan, the only Ivy League semi-finalist, is the target man in a potent Crimson attack. His ability to create opportunities for his teammates, hold the ball up, and his knack for finishing make him as complete a striker as Harvard has ever had.

The Grand Prairie, Texas native finished this year with 10 goals and 26 points, helping Harvard to the second round of the NCAA tournament. In the first round, Akpan scored the double-overtime golden goal winner against the University of Massachusetts.

This season also saw Akpan set the Crimson’s all-time career points and assists records. Both marks fell on Nov. 8 in a 6-1 demolition of Columbia. He now has 97 points and 27 assists in his already-historic career.

Harvard’s 2008 season may have come to a close last Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to No. 8 University of South Florida, but now the team has something to root for in the upcoming weeks.

The semifinalists were named Saturday, and three finalists will be chosen Friday, Dec. 12. The winner will be announced four weeks later on Friday Jan. 9. Past recipients of the Hermann Trophy include American soccer-greats Claudio Reyna and Brad Friedel.