The winner of the MAC Hermann Trophy, given annually to the top player in women's college soccer, will be announced Jan. 3, 2020. The three finalists for this year's MAC Hermann are UCLA midfielder Jessie Fleming, North Carolina defender/midfielder Emily Fox and Stanford attacker Catarina Macario.
Here is a closer look at each one of the MAC Hermann finalists.
Jessie Fleming — Senior Midfielder, UCLA
Not only does Fleming have an extra year on Macario and Fox, she has more international experience than any other player in women's college soccer. The Canadian midfielder made her first national team debut in 2013 when she was just 15 years old. Fleming made her World Cup debut in 2015 with the Canadian national team and played every minute of every match in the 2019 World Cup, scoring her first World Cup goal against New Zealand.
Fleming was a finalist for the MAC Hermann award in 2017, her sophomore season, when she racked up six goals with eight assists to combine for 20 points.
The Bruins lost in the College Cup championship game to Stanford in 2017 and Fleming was beaten out for the MAC Hermann award by then-Stanford star Andi Sullivan. Fleming could face a similar scenario this year, as UCLA was eliminated by Stanford in this season's College Cup semifinals and the Cardinal have a MAC Hermann finalist of their own in Macario.
It might be a tougher sell for the UCLA star this go-around. Although she has accumulated much more experience on the world stage, her performance in college soccer has lagged behind past years. Compared to her 20 points in 2017, Fleming has scored three goals and racked up four assists — half of 2017's numbers.
Emily Fox — Junior Midfielder/Defender, North Carolina
The North Carolina do-it-all defender is one of the most promising young players in the country, and she was a key part in UNC's run to the College Cup championship match this season. She has several years of experience with the United States national program, and her coach at North Carolina thinks she could even be bumped up to the senior squad as early as next year for the 2020 Olympic Games despite the team coming off of a World Cup championship.
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"I still think Emily has a shot at making the Olympic team. I think she's such a wonderful player," North Carolina's head coach Anson Dorrance said.
Fox scored a crucial unassisted goal against Southern Cal in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Fox had to miss the final two matches of the season due to a knee injury suffered later in the game versus the Trojans.
Her versatility was missed in the College Cup final against Stanford, as Carolina was unable to effectively break through Stanford's strong midfield and defense. The Tar Heels lost to the Cardinal 0-0 (5-4 PKs) in the championship match.
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She scored two goals and clocked 11 assists for 15 points — seventh-most on the Tar Heels roster.
Catarina Macario — Junior Midfielder/Forward, Stanford
The Stanford attacker has been either near the top or at the top of goals and assists across DI women's soccer all season. Macario finished with 32 goals and 23 assists combining for 87 points — just 10 points away from Mia Hamm's all-time record of 97 points in 1992.
The Brazilian-born attacker dwarfed last year's MAC Hermann award-winning numbers when she scored 14 goals and eight assists for 36 points.
She also leads the NCAA in game-winning goals with 11 and led Stanford to have the country's most efficient offense, averaging 4.08 goals per game, with 102 goals on the whole season.
She could be the first person to win back-to-back MAC Hermann awards since Virginia's Morgan Brian in 2013 and 2014.