A total of seven UCLA men’s soccer players have been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, as announced by the conference today. Seniors Ryan Lee, Patrick Matchett and Joe Sofia, and sophomore Grady Howe were all named to the first team while senior Reed Williams was named to the second team. Senior Max Estrada and junior Leo Stolz received honorable mention.
This is the second academic award for Howe this season after he earned Capital One Academic All-District honors earlier this month. The sophomore from Newport Beach, Calif. has played in every single match since his arrival in Westwood (37 matches in total). This season, he has helped UCLA earn six shutouts while recording nine shots in 1,021 minutes. Howe currently sports a 3.73 GPA as a Business Economics major.
Lee earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the first time in his career while Matchett earned All-Academic accolades for the second time, previously earning honorable mention in 2011. Lee has played in 17 matches, making nine starts and tallying two assists. Matchett has appeared in 13 matches, making nine starts, and notching one assist. Lee holds a 3.89 GPA in Business Economics while Matchett has a 3.72 GPA in Political Science.
Sofia earned first-team Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the third year in a row to go with the Capital One Academic All-District honors he earned a few weeks ago. The senior captain leads UCLA’s position players with 1,514 minutes and has anchored the back line all season, playing in 17 of the Bruins’ 18 matches. Sofia is also a Senior CLASS Award finalist and has held the highest GPA among all of UCLA’s student-athletes since the spring of 2012, holding a 3.96 GPA as a Communication Studies major.
Williams, a senior forward from Newport Beach, Calif., also made the Pac-12 All-Academic team for the third consecutive year, earning second-team honors for the first time. He has played in all 18 matches in 2013, making four starts and scoring one goal. Last season, Williams tied for the team lead in goals with seven and earned NSCAA All-Far West honors. In the classroom, he upholds a 3.52 GPA in Business Economics.
Stolz and Estrada are both making their first appearances on the All-Academic squad. Stolz, the 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year, leads the conference with 23 points and has a team-high nine goals thus far. Additionally, the junior midfielder has recorded at least one point in eight of his last 12 matches and was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week three times this season. Estrada, a senior forward from Salinas, Calif., has appeared in 14 matches in 2013, making six starts. He has scored one goal and logged one assist thus far.
To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.The Bruins (11-3-4) have earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and a first round bye. UCLA will host the winner of the Elon/Clemson first round match in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. out at Drake Stadium. Tickets to the match can be purchased by phone through the Central Ticket office at (310) UCLA-WIN (825-2946) or at the gate the day of the game. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth (children 16 years and younger).