Senior defender Joe Sofia has been named as one of 30 men's soccer candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award. The award honors male soccer players for their accomplishments both on and off the field.
Sofia, a native of Dove Canyon, Calif., has upheld a 3.965 cumulative GPA in communication studies and is on track to graduate after the Fall quarter after just three years and one quarter. He has held the highest GPA among all of UCLA’s student-athletes since the spring of 2012 and has made the Director’s Honor Roll in every one of his quarters at UCLA (nine times in total). In 2012, Sofia became the first UCLA men’s soccer player to earn first-team Capital One Academic All-America honors. Additionally, he has been named to the first-team Pac-12 All-Academic team for the past two seasons.
Sofia has been very active in the community as well, developing an anti-bullying curriculum with some fellow student-athletes that will be distributed to local middle schools later this fall. While working closely with Ben Cohen’s Stand Up Foundation, Sofia and the other student-athletes will create a curriculum that will emphasize preventing bullying across many spectrums, including homophobic bullying and racial bullying. He has also volunteered for UCLA’s I’m Going To College program, giving campus tours and doing autograph signings for the collegiate community outreach effort, Prime Time Games, Bruin-For-A-Day program and Marathon Kids, a school and community-based fitness program.
On the field, Sofia has played in 63 matches in his three-year career, starting 62 of them. Playing mostly at center back, he’s helped lead UCLA to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, Pac-12 titles in 2011 and 2012, and the 2011 College Cup Semifinals. After earning All-Rookie honors from Top Drawer Soccer as a freshman in 2010, Sofia earned Pac-12 honorable mention accolades in 2011 after scoring one goal and recording one assist. He also helped UCLA's back line record 12 shutouts in 2011, the third-highest total in school history. As a junior in 2012, Sofia earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, recording a single-season best four assists and two goals (eight points). In addition, he led the team in minutes with 1,789.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup® championships in December.
Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
To view the entire list of nominees, click here.