Dec. 12, 2009

By Roger van der Horst
Special to

CARY, N.C. — The Men’s College Cup features two of the three finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s 2009 Hermann Trophy, the Heisman of collegiate soccer. Junior midfielder Corben Bone of Wake Forest and sophomore forward Teal Bunbury of Akron are joined by Andre Akpan, a senior forward for Harvard.

The winner will be announced Jan. 8 in St. Louis. Members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America do the voting.

Bone, from Plano, Texas, scored two goals and added 13 assists to help Wake reach its fourth straight Cup. He was named the ACC’s Offensive Player of the Year. Bunbury, the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, led the nation with 17 goals, including five game-winners. Akpan, the Ivy League Player of the Year, from Grand Prairie, Texas, led the Crimson with 12 goals and 30 points. He’s the first Harvard player to be a Hermann Trophy finalist.

In all, the Cup teams included six Hermann semifinalists, the others being midfielders Anthony Ampaipitakwong of Akron and Tony Tchani of Virginia and defenders Zach Loyd of North Carolina and Ike Opara of Wake.

The women's Hermann finalists are forward Lauren Cheney of UCLA, midfielder Tobin Heath of North Carolina and forward Kelley O'Hara of Stanford.

NSCAA ALL-AMERICANS: Bone, Bunbury, Akpan, Ampaipitakwong, Tchani, Loyd and Opara were joined on the Division I All-America first team by South Florida junior G Jeffrey Attinella, Stanford junior D Bobby Warshaw, UCLA senior M Kyle Nakazawa, Louisville sophomore F Colin Rolfe and Monmouth junior F Ryan Kinne.

The second team: GK Brian Perk, sr., UCLA; D Phil Edginton, sr., Louisville; D Mark Blades, sr., Northwestern; D Barry Rice, sr., Kentucky; M Dan Bostock, sr., Monmouth; M Conor O’Brien, sr., Bucknell; M Two-Boys Gumede, sr., UAB; M Toni Stahl, sr., Connecticut; F Nane Joseph, sr., Old Dominion; F Danny Mwanga, so., Oregon State; F Darlington Nagbe, so., Akron; F Garrett Webb, sr., Drake.

The third team: GK Zac MacMath, so., Maryland; D Ryan Peterman, sr., San Diego; D Tim Team, sr., Saint Louis; D Nick Schuermann, sr., Wofford; D Indy Smith, jr., UNC-Wilmington; M Irving Garcia, sr., UC-Irvine; M Daniel Keat, jr., Dartmouth; M Michael Farfan, jr., UNC; F Austin Neil, so., Tulsa; F Zack Schilawski, sr., Wake Forest; F Billy Schuler, so., UNC; F Andrew Hoxie, sr., William and Mary.

IN DEFENSE OF SHOOTOUTS: Wake Forest coach Jay Vidovich, whose team lost a 0-0 tie to Virginia on penalty kicks in the ACC tournament, defended the format.

“It is what it is,” he said on the eve of the men’s College Cup. “People say, ‘Aw, it’s such a cruel way to go.’ I can’t think of a way to go that isn’t cruel. If we go on PKs or we lose in regulation, we’re going to be devastated either way. It’s soccer. It’s all over the world. It’s the way you end it.

“For the welfare of the player, physically, it’s probably the only thing you can do.”

In Friday’s second semifinal game, top-ranked Akron and North Carolina played to a 0-0 tie, and Akron advanced to the final at 1 p.m. Sunday by outscoring UNC 5-4 on penalty kicks.

UNUSUAL JOURNEY: One of the most unlikely paths to the College Cup has been made by Virginia midfielder Ari Dimas, all 5 feet 5 and 134 pounds of him.

Last year the redshirt freshman answered an ad for players to help out the Virginia women’s team by participating on the scout team. Dimas looked good enough to prompt women’s coach Steve Swanson to suggest that he try out for the men’s team. He made the team in the spring and went on to start eight games this season for the Cavaliers.