Senior captain Joe Sofia has been named the 2013 Pac-12 Men's Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year, as announced by the conference today. Sofia becomes the second straight UCLA men’s soccer player to win the award after Ryan Hollingshead received the honor in 2012.
The senior defender from Dove Canyon, Calif. played in 19 of UCLA’s 20 matches this season while serving as the anchor of the back line. He captained the Bruins to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, all while helping the team earn seven shutouts on the season. Additionally, Sofia led all of UCLA’s position players in minutes with 1,714 and scored one goal in his 19 matches.
Off the field, Sofia became UCLA’s first ever men’s soccer player to earn first-team Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2012 and repeated the feat in 2013, becoming UCLA’s only two-time recipient of the award. He has upheld the highest GPA among all UCLA 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 addition, he is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.