Lauren Kozal named MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist


MSU goaltender Lauren Kozal winds up for a goal kick in the Spartans’ 1-0 home loss to Wisconsin on Sept. 24, 2021/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Evan Katz, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal was named a semifinalist for the 2022 MAC Hermann Trophy on Wednesday afternoon. She became the first Spartan in program history to be recognized for one of college soccer’s most prestigious awards.

The two-time Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year was a crucial part of the Spartans’ first-ever conference title and led MSU to its first conference tournament championship. She recorded 10 clean sheets and 61 saves in 2022. 

The MAC Hermann Trophy honors the national player of the year voted by Division I coaches. The finalists will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2022, and the winner will be announced on Jan. 6, 2023.

15 others were nominated for this award, but Kozal is the only goalkeeper to make the shortlist. Other representations from the Big Ten conference include Penn State’s graduate forward Ally Schlegel. 

The Spartans fielded one of the best defenses in the country with Kozal in goal, allowing a goals against average of 0.675. 

Kozal is one of three nominees hailing from Michigan. Duke sophomore Michelle Cooper from Clarkston and Notre Dame junior defender Eva Gaetino from Dexter join her on the list. 

Michigan and Texas tied for the most homegrown athletes on the list with three each. 

Kozal earned her second straight appearance on the All-Big Ten First Team posting a record of 17-3-3 and led the Big Ten in shutouts with 10. She became the conference’s third player to receive the honor two times and just the second to earn the award in two consecutive seasons.