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Pitt’s Valentin Noel and Jasper Löeffelsend named semifinalists for MAC Hermann Trophy

From Pitt Athletic Department report

Pitt men’s soccer sophomore Valentin Noel and graduate student Jasper Löeffelsend were recognized by the United Soccer Coaches and Missouri Athletic Club as semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy Tuesday.

The MAC Hermann Trophy, presented by World Wide Technology, is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. This year’s award was pushed back to accommodate the seasons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Winners will be announced May 27 at the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy Press Conference and Banquet taking place at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo.

A total of 15 players were named semifinalists. The full list can be found here.

Noel is among the nation’s leaders in multiple offensive categories and was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year and recognized on the All-ACC First Team. The Niort, France, native is third in the nation in goals (12), fourth in total points (26) and 12th in goals per game (.75). His total goals, points, goals per game along with points per game (1.62) and shot accuracy (.528) were best in the ACC following the regular season.

Noel recently scored his 12th goal of the season in No. 2 Pitt’s 6-1 defeat of Monmouth in the NCAA Tournament Second Round, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. The midfielder broke a program record for consecutive games played with a goal, scoring a goal in six-straight contests from Oct. 10 to Nov. 22.

Löeffelsend has proved to be one of the best passers in the country, totaling eight assists and .50 assists per game, good for fifth and 28th in the country, respectively. The Cologne, Germany, native was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year as well as All-ACC First Team. He ended the regular season first in the conference in assists and second in assists per game.

Löeffelsend had a breakout performance at home against Virginia Tech Oct. 10, tallying a career-high three assists. His assist count tied for second in school history for a single game. The grad student registered an assist against Monmouth Sunday evening.

The Panthers will be back in action on Thursday, in the NCAA Tournament’s Third Round, as they take on Central Florida (3 p.m. kickoff).

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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