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Joe Sofia (Photo by Don Liebig)
Joe Sofia Named Finalist for Senior CLASS Award
By: UCLA Athletics

Senior defender Joe Sofia has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Men's Soccer Senior CLASS Award, as announced by the Senior CLASS Award organziation today.

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 73 matches in his three-year career, starting 72 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. This season, the senior defender again leads the team in minutes with 928 while starting 10 matches. Sofia also serves as the captain of the Bruins and has led the back line to five shutouts thus far.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men’s candidates announced in August. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 25. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men’s College Cup® in December. 

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. 

2013 Men's Soccer Senior Class Award Finalists
Bryan Ciesiulka, Marquette
Kevin Cope, Michigan State
A.J. Corrado, Indiana
Itode Fubara, East Tennessee State
Nick Kristock, Oakland
Mackenzie Pridham, Cal Poly
Chris Ritter, Northwestern
Harrison Shipp, Notre Dame
Joe Sofia, UCLA
Kyle Venter, New Mexico

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