Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Nov. 29, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock women’s soccer standouts Savannah McCaskill and Kaleigh Kurtz have been tabbed semifinalists for the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy, the NSCAA announced on Tuesday afternoon. South Carolina was one of four schools to boast two semifinalists for the annual honor that recognizes the top player in women’s college soccer.

“I am so excited and honored to see both Savannah and Kaleigh recognized as MAC Hermann semifinalists,” South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith said. “They are both tremendous players and role model student athletes who have represented our program, the university and the state of South Carolina so well on and off the field. I am proud of what they have accomplished and that they continue to be recognized nationally.”

The 15 semifinalists were determined based on voting by NCAA Division I soccer coaches. Three finalists for the award will be named on Dec. 14 at the conclusion of voting by NCAA Division I soccer coaches, and the winner will be revealed at the MAC Hermann Trophy banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Jan. 6, 2017.

McCaskill and Kurtz join former Gamecock goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo (2011-14) as the other MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists in program history. D’Angelo, a semifinalist in 2014, was named to the award’s watch list twice throughout her collegiate career.

McCaskill enjoyed the most productive season in school history this fall, setting program single-season records for points (45) and goals (17). The junior forward’s 10 game-winners rank second in Division I and were also the most in one year by a Gamecock. She led the SEC in every scoring category, and her 45 points are the third-best mark among Division I players. The SEC Offensive Player of the Year boasted five multi-goal games in 2016, including a two-goal performance in Carolina’s 2-1 win over No. 6 Clemson on Sept. 3.

Kurtz, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, contributed on both ends of the field in her final season at Carolina. The senior center back ranked second on the team and led all defenders with five assists, and she finished the fall with a career-best seven points. Kurtz anchored the back line for a Gamecock team that topped the SEC with a single-season program record 0.41 goals against average, the sixth-best mark in Division I. The team’s SEC-leading 14 shutouts were one shy of the school’s single-season record, and Carolina limited an opponent to three or fewer shots on target 17 times in 2016.

The Gamecocks turned in their finest season ever this year, sporting school records in total wins (21) and victories over ranked opponents (5). Carolina, which reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the second time in three years, was the only team among 334 Division I schools to finish the regular season unbeaten (17-0-1) after going on a program-record 17-match winning streak. The Gamecocks won all 11 of their SEC matches on the way to the league’s Regular-Season Title, and they earned the program’s first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed.