Stephens Named Pac-10 Player Of The Year, Salcedo Pac-10 Coach Of The Year
Nov. 19, 2008
UCLA junior midfielder Michael Stephens was named the Pac-10 Men's Soccer Player of the Year, and head coach Jorge Salcedo earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors as the conference champions landed eight players on the 2008 All-Pac-10 teams.
Joining Stephens on the All-Pac-10 first team were senior forward Maxwell Griffin, senior midfielder Jason Leopoldo and senior defender Brad Rusin. Junior goalkeeper Brian Perk received second-team honors, while junior forward David Estrada, freshman defender/midfielder Andy Rose and junior defender/midfielder Danny Suits earned honorable mention nods.
Stephens (Naperville, IL/Edison Academic Center) becomes the third player in UCLA history to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year, joining Matt Taylor (2003) and Patrick Ianni (2004). Stephens was dominant in Pac-10 play, scoring 16 of his league-high 23 points and eight of his nine assists in conference games. He currently leads the Pac-10 and UCLA in scoring with 23 points and is tied for the lead in assists with nine after recording a school record-tying four assists at San Diego State last Saturday. Stephens also ranks second on the Bruin squad with seven goals. This week, he became the first player ever to receive Pac-10 Player of the Week honors three times in one season.
Salcedo has led the Bruins to their fifth Pac-10 title in the last seven years and to their 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. UCLA ran away with the conference title, clinching with two weeks to go in the season and finishing with a 7-1-2 record. Salcedo guided a young Bruin team with 12 newcomers through a rough start and difficult schedule and finished strong, going unbeaten in the last eight games and in 14 of the last 15 overall. The Bruins finished the regular season leading the Pac-10 in goals (37), assists (45), points (119) and saves (81). Additionally, they rank in the top 50 in the nation in scoring offense (1.85) and shutout percentage (0.40). This is Salcedo's second career Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor, having previously shared the distinction in his first season in 2004.
Griffin (Palmdale, Calif./Littlerock HS) earns first-team honors for the first time in his career after earning honorable mention acclaim a year ago. Griffin leads the Pac-10 in goals scored with 10 and is ranked second in scoring with 22 points, both career highs.
Leopoldo (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks HS), earns his second consecutive first-team honor and his third all-conference nod overall. The Pac-10 co-leader in assists with nine, he ranks third on the Bruin team in scoring with 15 points.
Rusin (Holmes Beach, Calif./St. Stephen's Prep) receives his fourth overall All-Pac-10 honor but first first-team selection. The leader of the Bruin defense, he has guided UCLA to eight shutouts, including six in 10 Pac-10 games, and has scored a career-high three goals.
Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Edison Academic Center), who was an honorable mention honoree last season, received second-team honors after recording a 0.96 goals against average (GAA) with seven shutouts and a Pac-10 best 71 saves. In Pac-10 play, he has been virtually unbeatable with a 0.45 GAA and five shutouts.
Estrada (Salinas, Calif./Alisal HS) was selected to the All-Pac-10 team for the third year in a row. He ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 11 points (4g, 3a). Rose (Bristol, England/Wycliffe College) is one of only four freshmen on the All-Pac-10 squads. He has played in 19 games with 16 starts this season, totaling two goals and three assists. Suits (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) earns his first All-Pac-10 distinction after starting in all 20 games and leading the team in minutes played with 1,850.
2008 Pac-10 First Team All-Conference
2008 Pac-10 Second Team All-Conference
2008 Pac-10 Honorable Mention All-Conference
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