Last week, the NSCAA released the names of 34 Division I student-athletes on their annual MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The Hermann Trophy is the soccer equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, the highest honor an individual can garner on the collegiate level. This watch list identifies the players expected to be the top performers for the upcoming season. Of all the players at the Division I level, the Athletics’ own Omar Mata made the watch list.
“It’s a great honor,” Mata said. “Ultimately, it’s just the preseason, and that’s not my goal. We have a great team this a year [at the University of Tulsa] and I’m ready for the season to start.”
Mata was an instrumental part of the Athletics’ attack, scoring many important goals and his presence was paramount in the offensive third. Mata scored the club’s first-ever goal on May 18th against the Liverpool Warriors as well as scoring the opening goal in the exhibition game against Mexican side Club America this summer.
“Omar is one of those players that makes everyone around him better,” commented Athletics head coach Joey Ryan. “His unselfish passing and tireless work rate make him a handful to defend. He is also very dangerous on set pieces.”
Mata plays for the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane and is entering his senior year this 2013 season. As a freshman, Mata tallied three goals and three assists, and then had four goals and four assists in his sophomore year. Last season, Mata captained the Golden Hurricane and led them to the Sweet Sixteen, scoring an overtime winner against South Florida in the second round of the national tournament. He had a career best seven goals and six assists last year, earned All-Conference USA and NSCAA All-Midwest First Team Honors.
“Omar’s contributions were massive this season,” said Athletics owner Sonny Dalesandro. “Our club wishes him the best in the upcoming college season as well as in his future soccer career. He’ll always have a home on the field with the Tulsa Athletics.”
Photo Credit: Tulsa Athletics