TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Heading into the 2017 season, a trio of Seminoles have received national recognition as redshirt senior Cassie Miller, junior Natalia Kuikka and sophomore Deyna Castellanos have been selected to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced by the Missouri Athletic Club on Tuesday.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer presented annually to one male and female athlete. The winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, during the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
The three Noles are among 30 student-athletes on this year’s watch list. Florida State is the only school with three selections, and one of just four schools – along with Penn State, South Carolina and Stanford – that have multiple players recognized.
It is the 14th straight season that FSU has had a student-athlete names to the preseason Watch List and the three Seminoles marks a program record, surpassing the previous high of two players that were selected nine different times.
Miller enters her final season in the Garnet and Gold looking to cement her position as one of the best goalkeepers in the country. In her three years in Tallahassee, she has posted a goals against average of 0.45, which ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history and is the second-lowest among players with at least 6,000 minutes played. Her 40 shutouts are tied for the 13th most in NCAA history, with the all-time record off 55 by UCLA’s Katelyn Rowland in reach as she has averaged over 13 shutouts per season.
Kuikka takes over as captain on the 2017 Seminole squad and looks to continue to develop as a defensive presence on the backline. Moving from playing in the midfield as a freshman in 2015 to centerback in 2016, Kuikka earned NSCAA Third Team All-American honors as she helped limit opponents to only nine goals scored on the season. She added five assists on her own, including a school-record tying performance of three assists in the NCAA Tournament match against Samford on November 12. The two-time ACC Tournament MVP aims to help the Seminoles win their fifth conference title in a row this season.
Castellanos looks to build on an impressive freshman season that earned her NSCAA All-Region First Team honors, as well as a spot on the All-ACC Second Team, after tying for the team-high with seven goals, despite playing in only 13 matches and missing six weeks in the middle of the season playing for her national team in the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, where she received Bronze Boot and Bronze Ball in leading Venezuela to a fourth place finish.
In 2007, Mami Yamaguchi won the MAC Hermann Trophy, the first and only player in Florida State history to win the award. Yamaguchi led the country in points that season with 66, while finishing second in goals (24) and assists (18).
Near the end of the 2017 regular season, NCAA Division I coaches will vote and the lists will be narrowed down to the top 15 players, with the three finalists chosen following the end of the 2017 College Cup.
Miller, Kuikka, Castellanos and the rest of the Seminoles will open the 2017 season on Friday, August 18 at 7:00 p.m. as FSU hosts UNC Greensboro at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
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2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
|Michaela Abam||Sr.||F||West Virginia|
|Bridgette Andrzejewski||So.||F||North Carolina|
|Rachel Bloznalis||Sr.||D||Boston University|
|Deyna Castellanos||So.||F||Florida State|
|Frannie Crouse||Sr.||F||Penn State|
|Ashley Gonzalez||Sr.||F||Long Beach State|
|Taylor Isom||Sr.||D||Brigham Young|
|Mikayla Krzeczowski||So.||GK||South Carolina|
|Natalia Kuikka||Jr.||D||Florida State|
|Savannah McCaskill||Sr.||F||South Carolina|
|Cassie Miller||Sr.||GK||Florida State|
|Emily Ogle||Jr.||MF||Penn State|
|Alexis Pelafas||Jr.||F||Central Michigan|
|Ally Prisock||Jr.||D||Southern California|
|Jemma Purfield||Jr.||D||Arizona State|
|Ally Watt||So.||F||Texas A&M|