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MM 12.8: Maryland men’s soccer sophomore Ben Bender named a semifinalist for MAC Hermann Trophy

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland men’s soccer sophomore midfielder Ben Bender was named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the program announced earlier on Tuesday. The trophy is the highest individual award in Division I men’s soccer and is voted on by the nation’s coaches each season.

Bender put together a magical 2021 campaign, leading the Terrapins with seven goals and five assists. He was named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten First Team. Bender scored a goal in five consecutive games, which is the longest streak for a Maryland player since 2005. He was also named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week twice this season.

These numbers should come as no surprise to Maryland men’s soccer fans, who saw Bender burst onto the scene and earn All-Big Ten Second Team and All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors just a season ago.

Bender is the first Terrapin to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist since Alex Crognale and Gordon Wild in 2016. The last player from Maryland to win the award was Patrick Mullins in 2012 and 2013, and the only other Terp to do so was Jason Garey in 2005.

The three finalists for the trophy will be announced on Dec. 15. The winner of the award will be named at the MAC Hermann Trophy banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri on Jan. 7, 2022.

In other news

Maryland football’s tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo announced that he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft and the Pinstripe Bowl game against Virginia Tech will be his last in a Maryland uniform.

Former Maryland and Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair watched the Atlanta Hawks take on the Minnesota Timberwolves and caught the attention of fellow Terrapin Kevin Huerter, who had ten points and five rebounds for Atlanta.

No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball shared highlights from Sunday’s 73-59 win at Rutgers.

Maryland wrestling had three wrestlers ranked this week. Kyle Cochran ranked 24th at 184 pounds and Jaron Smith was an honorable mention at 197 pounds in FloWrestling’s rankings. Zach Schrader moved up a spot to 32nd in InterMat’s heavyweight rankings.

The Maryland women’s lacrosse 2022 schedule is set to be released Wednesday.