Redshirt junior defender Bjarne Thiesen of the No. 6-ranked West Virginia University men’s soccer team has been named to the 2022 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List, as announced on Thursday.

The award – regarded as college soccer’s Heisman Trophy – is the nation’s highest individual honor recognizing the National Player of the Year, as determined by the voting of Division I coaches who are members of United Soccer Coaches. A total of 38 players appeared on the watch list.

With the honor, Thiesen becomes the fifth Mountaineer men’s player to be named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List, including the first since Eric Schoenle in 2012. The recognition comes after the Kiel, Germany, native was selected to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team, as well as TopDrawerSoccer’s Preseason Best XI First Team.

Thiesen, an All-America Third Team selection by United Soccer Coaches and TopDrawerSoccer in 2021, scored two goals and helped West Virginia record nine shutouts last season. He started all 21 matches, totaling 1,980 minutes. 

Fifteen men’s players and 15 women’s players will become Hermann Trophy semifinalists on Nov. 30, following the completion of Division I All-America voting. On Dec. 7, the top three players from a final round of voting will be named finalists. The 2022 winner will be revealed on Jan. 6, 2023, at a ceremony at the historic Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The Mountaineers open the 2022 campaign on Thursday night against Robert Morris at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.