Dec. 8, 1999
ST. LOUIS, MO - UCLA men's soccer standout Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif.) has been named the male winner of the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation College Player of the Year Award. Santa Clara's Mandy Clemens won the women's M.A.C. Award, it was announced today.
The awards are also the official Division I Player of the Year selections by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
In the closest voting in the 14-year history of the M.A.C. men's award, Victorine edged out Duke's Ali Curtis with 71 points to Curtis' 70 points.
Victorine, a 6-2 senior midfielder and team co-captain, has enjoyed an outstanding season, leading the College Cup-bound Bruins in points scored (a career-high 32) and setting new career marks in goals (12) and assists (8). UCLA plays defending champion Indiana in the NCAA semifinals on Friday in Charlotte, NC.
"I'm ecstatic," said Victorine, the first West Coast player to win the men's award. "I set a goal when I injured my knee in 1997 to come back and be as good if not a better player than I was before I got hurt. This shows how hard I've worked and means a lot to me."
Victorine becomes UCLA's first-ever M.A.C. Award winner. He joins such prestigious company as Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola, John Harkes and Alexi Lalas. Victorine, who is from Corona, California, and Clemens, a native of San Diego, California, will be presented with the traditional crystal ball trophies on Friday, January 7, 2000 during a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
The final vote totals for the top five finishers in the men's category, with first-place votes in parentheses:
Men's Player of the Year
1. Sasha Victorine, UCLA, 71 points
2. Ali Curtis, Duke, 70
3. Adin Brown, William & Mary, 64
4. Nick Garcia, Indiana, 61
5. Aleksy Korol, Indiana, 52