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Grant Lillard named finalist for MAC Hermann Trophy


Senior defender Grant Lillard goes to head the ball against New Hampshire in the third round of the NCAA tournament at Bill Armstrong Stadium. IU defeated New Hampshire, 2-1, to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament against Michigan State. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

IU senior defender Grant Lillard was named a finalist for the Mac Hermann Trophy, United Soccer Coaches announced Friday.

Wake Forest forward Jon Bakero and Stanford defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce were the other two finalists. The winner will be announced at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Jan. 5. Division 1 NCAA coaches voted on the finalists.

The senior center back has been an integral part to the IU defense this season and was also named a first team All-American, along with junior defender Andrew Gutman by United Soccer Coaches on Thursday night. Lillard leads an IU backline that has a NCAA-best .242 goals against average, nearly .20 goals better than the next closest team.

The Big Ten defensive player of the year has also tallied two goals and two assists on the season.

The Hinsdale, Illinios, native is the first Hoosier to be named a finalist for the award since current Seattle Sounders forward Will Bruin in 2010.

The Missouri Athletic Club has honored the top player in College Soccer since 1986, but in 2002, the Missouri Athletic Club and Hermann Trophy merged together. All in all, six different Hoosiers have won one version of the award with the last coming in 2004 when Danny O’Rourke won the award.

Lillard will finish up his college career at the College Cup in Chester, Pennsylvania, starting Friday vs. North Carolina.

Josh Eastern

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