CCAA recognizes men's and women's UCSD soccer players

    With successful seasons for both the UCSD men’s and women’s soccer teams, individuals from both teams recently received recognition for their athletic ability and academic accomplishments during the 2002 season.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

    On the men’s team, goalkeeper Jeremy Cookson and sweeper Kris Chiles were named to the Verizon Academic All-District Soccer Team, while Megan Mendoza represented UCSD on the women’s Academic All-District Team.

    Also announced earlier this week, Kristin Conohan, Kristin Jones, and Mendoza were selected to the All-CCAA First team and Shannon Harrelson and freshman Heather Szafraniec were named to the All-CCAA Second team. Szafraniec also received the Freshman of the Year honors.

    The Verizon Academic All-District honors only goes to 11 men and women in all of NCAA Division II, Division III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics institutions. In his 15 starts in his senior year this season, Chiles scored two goals and aided the team with one assist. This, coupled with his 3.82 GPA as a molecular biology major, earned him a spot on the Academic All-District team for the second time.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

    Cookson also showed outstanding ability both academically and athletically in the 2002 season. He currently maintains a 3.73 GPA while majoring in electrical engineering, and the goalkeeper has made 51 saves this year while posting a low 1.41 goals-against-average in the 16 games he started this season.

    UCSD men’s coach Derek Armstrong understands the importance of his team’s accomplishments.

    “”What we are about is a balance of athletics and sports,”” Armstrong said. “”We hope that with recognition of the academic ability of our athletes, we are slowly breaking down barriers and stereotypes.””

    Mendoza, the only representative of the UCSD women’s team, is not only co-captain of the team, but currently also holds a 3.73 GPA in biological anthropology. Head coach Brian McManus explained the difficulty of balancing the rigors of athletics and a UC education.

    “”The girls have to be well-organized in their classes and study times with all the travel and practice they have to attend,”” McManus said.

    Conohan, Jones, Harleson, Mendoza and Szafraniec all received CCAA honors for their contributions to the UCSD women’s soccer team, which is headed for the NCAA Division II championships.

    Freshman of the Year Szafraniec came in as one of five freshmen for the Tritons and performed beyond expectations, earning her the title.

    McManus described Conohan as “”the most consistent midfielder in the NCAA Division II,”” and this warranted her All-CCAA selection.

    Harleson and Jones, both forwards, work as a team to support the Triton women. They are consistent and skilled in their position, but together, according to McManus, they become a stronger force for UCSD.

    “”The two of them put pressure on the opposing team, and if they do not score themselves, they create openings for other members on the team,”” McManus said.

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