Ben Sippola has been named by the Missouri Athletic Club as one of 15 semifinalists for the prestigious Hermann Trophy. The award is given to the top male and female college soccer player in the US.
Sippola helped his Butler Bulldogs to a 16-1-3 season and was named the 2010 Horizon League Player of the Year. Butler had been ranked 5th in the nation by the NSCAA college polls before losing in a second round game in the NCAA Tournament.
The senior from Northfield, Minn. attended Shattuck St. Mary’s before attending Butler University. He started all 20 games for the Bulldogs this season and led his team with 8 goals, 9 assists and 25 points. He was honored as the Horizon League’s Offensive Player of the Year, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Tournament. He also was named first team Academic All-America.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be named as a semifinalist,” Sippola told IMS by phone Monday afternoon. “It was a little unexpected because we lost in the tournament so early. So I didn’t really expect to get the accolades that I’ve gotten. But I’m really excited about it.”
Three finalists for the award will be announced on Friday, Dec. 10. They will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis for a news conference on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, where the winner will be announced.
This is the 3rd year running that the Hermann Trophy semifinal list has included a Minnesotan. In 2008 Andrei Gotsmanov made the list and last year Teal Bunbury was a candidate. Bunbury won the Trophy and left the Akron Zips after his sophomore year to sign a Generation Adidas contract which lead to the Prior Lake, Minn. resident signing with the Kansas City Wizards of MLS.
Sippola told IMS in October that he wanted to focus on his season at Butler but was interested in looking at his options of playing professionally this coming year. Sippola says that hasn’t changed.
“I look at the list of players that are semifinalist and I would think that has to be good for me and my chances of getting in to the MLS combine and having some teams look at me,” explained Sippola. “But I’m interested in playing at any professional level. If things don’t work out with MLS I’d consider playing for a team like the Stars for a year or two to see where it takes me. I really want to see what my potential is because it’s always been my dream to play beyond college. I’ve worked so hard for so long. I’d regret it if I didn’t give it a shot, no matter what level.”
Click more for a list of all the semifinalists.Will Bruin, F, Indiana
Tony Cascio, F, Connecticut
Michael Farfan, M, North Carolina
Ethan Finlay, F, Creighton
Corey Hertzog, F, Penn State
Antoine Hoppenot, F, Princeton
Arthur Ivo, M, Southern Methodist
Matt Kassel, M, Maryland
Ryan Kinne, M, Monmouth
Darlington Nagbe, F, Akron
Colin Rolfe, F, Louisville
Kofi Sarkodie, D, Akron
Ben Sippola, M, Butler
A.J. Soares, D, California
Andrew Wenger, D, Duke