College soccer: Wake Forest’s Ian Harkes takes home Mac Hermann Trophy

ST. LOUIS — Wake Forest senior forward Ian Harkes capped off one of the most decorated careers in program history when he was named the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, the top individual honor in college soccer, on Friday night.

Harkes had already become the first player in ACC history to be named the ACC Midfielder of the Year, ACC Championship MVP and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the same season.

A two-year captain, Harkes was also named the NSCAA Scholar Player of the Year.

“I couldn’t be more excited for Ian to win the MAC Hermann Trophy. It’s the most prestigious award in college soccer and he proved time and time again this season that he’s an elite player in our game,” head coach Bobby Muuss said. “His senior season was one for the record books and we couldn’t be more excited for him and his family.”

Harkes was joined as a finalist by Florida Gulf Coast junior forward Albert Ruiz and Maryland sophomore transfer forward Gordon Wild. Harkes was chosen as the winner through voting by NCAA Division I coaches.

The Fairfax, Va., native becomes Wake Forest’s second MAC Hermann Trophy winner in program history. He joins Marcus Tracy, who earned the honor in 2008. Harkes also matches his father, John Harkes, as a MAC end-of-season honoree. John, a standout performer under Bruce Arena at the University of Virginia, was named the MAC Player of the Year in 1987. From 1986 to 2001, the Missouri Athletic Club gave out the Hermann Trophy and Player of the Year honors before the two awards merged in 2002.

“This is a huge honor,” Harkes said. “I want to thank God for watching over me this year and keeping me safe and healthy,” Harkes said. “I want to thank my family for always being there. My parents were my inspiration to start playing soccer. To Lauren and Lily, my sisters for all their support, and to Sarah for all her support. My grandparents – my grandpa is here and he’s my number one fan, he came to all my games. To all my coaches at Wake, Jay Vidovich and Ryan Martin, for believing in me and letting me come to Wake Forest and begin my journey there, and now Bobby Muuss who took over and helped our program and helped us to so much success. To Steve Armas, Dane Brenner and the rest of the staff. Of course I have to thank my teammates, because any success that I’ve ever had is due to them. They’ve helped me all four years throughout the ups and downs.” 

The four-year starter served as an anchor of the midfield for his entire career. He made 82 career starts, finishing with nine goals and 18 assists, and four of his five goals this season were game-winners. He led Wake Forest to the title game at the NCAA College Cup for the second time in program history, as well as the team’s second-ever ACC Tournament title.