In three seasons with the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer program, junior AJ Cochran has transformed himself from one of the top players in the Heartland region to a rising star on the collegiate scene.
After a season in which he earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named a first-team All-Big Ten performer for the second-straight season, the St. Louis native is beginning to move into the ranks of the elite. He was named Tuesday a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, an award given annually to the nation’s top men’s collegiate soccer player by the Missouri Athletic Club.
Cochran is the only Big Ten student-athlete to appear on the 15-man list and is one of five juniors selected as a semifinalist.
The NSCAA will announce the finalists for the Hermann Trophy on Dec. 12.
Cochran started in all 21 matches for the Badgers this season, guiding the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in nearly two decades. The two-time first-team All-Big Ten performer anchored a back line that earned seven shutouts in 2013, while allowing just seven goals in Big Ten play.
The junior tallied six points on three goals in 2013, including a pair of game winners. His most memorable offensive performance came in a 4-3 comeback win over defending NCAA champion Indiana on Oct. 11, when Cochran recorded a pair of goals in the final 17 minutes of action to lead UW to victory in its conference home opener.
Cochran was named a preseason All-American by both Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News prior to the start of the 2013 campaign.
— MAC Hermann Trophy (@HermannTrophy) December 3, 2013