Kozal named to MAC Hermann Trophy watch list

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Michigan State football player Lauren Kozal has been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list, United Soccer Coaches announced on Thursday.

The Ada, Michigan goaltender becomes only the second Spartan to appear on the Hermann Trophy watch list in program history. Laura Heyboer, a three-time United Soccer Coaches All-American and inductee into the Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022, was the only former Spartan to receive the same preseason honor.

“Lauren continues to improve every day,” the head coach said. Jeff Hosler said. “She’s had an incredible fall in 2021. I think, given the growth she’s shown, she’s a better keeper today than she’s ever been. In my opinion, she’s from by far the best goalie in this senior class. I don’t know if there’s a better goalie in the country. She’s a great leader, and our team plays with a lot more confidence knowing she’s there -down.

Kozal joins 60 additional women’s college soccer players from across the country on the roster and is one of only four female student-athletes representing the Big Ten conference. Penn State landed a pair of players on the roster, with forwards Penelope Hocking and Ally Schlegel making appearances in addition to Rutgers forward Riley Tiernan.

The Hermann Trophy, presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club, is the nation’s highest individual honor recognizing the National Player of the Year, as determined by the vote of Division I coaches who are members of United Soccer Coaches.

Fifteen players become Hermann Trophy semifinalists Nov. 30 after Division I All-America voting was completed following the fall season. Then, on Dec. 7, the top three players from a final ballot are announced as 2022 finalists. The winner will be revealed Jan. 6, 2023, in a ceremony inside the historic Missouri Athletic Club in Saint -Louis.

Kozal has previously been recognized as the only Big Ten representative on United Soccer Coaches’ list of goalkeepers to watch, as well as one of three Spartans named as a Big Ten player to watch. She returns to action after a 2021 season in which she was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year as well as United Soccer Coaches All-American.

Kozal and the Greens and Whites open the 2022 regular season Thursday at 7 p.m., taking on the Bowling Green Falcons at Cochrane Stadium.


Visit MSUSpartans.com for more information on Michigan State women’s soccer. Fans can keep up to date with the Spartan Women’s Soccer Team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by following @MSU_WSoccer.

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