Dec. 2, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior forward Chris Pontius was named one of 15 semifinalists nationwide for the prestigious 2008 Missouri Athletic Club Men's Hermann Trophy. The award recognizes the Player of the Year in Division I men's soccer.
One of the top offensive players in the nation, Pontius' 32 points this season led the Big West while his 14 goals were second in the conference. He was the lone Gaucho to be named to the All-Big West First Team.
Pontius led the Gauchos offensively all season and set career-highs in goals, assists, points and shots. In fact, Pontius has left his mark in the UCSB record books, notching 29 total goals in his career, good for fifth place in Gaucho history. The Yorba Linda native's 67 career points is seventh all-time in the UCSB annals while his 114 shots taken ranks first all-time in a single season.
Of the 15 semifinalists named by the Missouri Athletic Club, Pontius' point total for this season ranks seventh.
The semifinalist list will be narrowed down to three on December 12 and will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis for a news conference on Jan. 9, 2009 when the winner will be announced. A dinner and formal presentation of the award will follow the news conference that evening.
2008 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Semifinalists
Andre Akpan, Harvard
Cody Arnoux, Wake Forest
Alejandro Bedoya, Boston College
Jovan Bubonja, UIC
Sam Cronin, Wake Forest
Doug DeMartin, Michigan State
Omar Gonzalez, Maryland
Andrei Gotsmanov, Creighton
Mike Grella, Duke
Chris Pontius, UC Santa Barbara
Chris Salvaggione, Charlotte
Marcus Tracy, Wake Forest
O'Brian White, Connecticut
Steve Zakuani, Akron
UCSB - a nationally recognized university in both academic and athletic excellence - is located in the central coast of California in a picturesque campus and community setting on the Pacific Ocean. Each year over 450 Division-1 Gaucho student-athletes compete for national championships, succeed in the classroom and give back to the community.