Saunders Named Pac-10 Player of the Year, Grimes Co-Coach of the Year
Nov. 21, 2002
California goalkeeper Josh Saunders was named 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year and Golden Bear head coach Kevin Grimes was named 2002 Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Saunders, from Lake Forest, Calif., was tremendous in front of the net this season, helping the Golden Bears to a 13-5-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) marker and a second-straight NCAA Tournament bid. He leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (10) and is ranked 14th in the NCAA and third in the Conference in goals against average (0.78 per game). Saunders is the first goalkeeper to be voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, in the league's third season sponsoring men's soccer. This is his second consecutive All-Pac-10 first team selection during his two seasons at Cal. His 10 shutouts are the second-most in a single season in Cal history, one behind all-time leader Todd Harmon.
Grimes, in his third year at the helm for the Bears, guided Cal to a 13-5-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) record, a second-place Pac-10 finish and second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Bears have allowed the second-least amount of goals scored against them (15), and are tied for the Conference lead in shutouts (11). Grimes has amassed a 29-27-4 marker during his tenure in Berkeley. Prior to working at Cal, he spent three seasons as an assistant at Southern Methodist, where he helped guide the Mustangs to the three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Joining Saunders on the first team is sophomore midfielder Mike Munoz, who has tallied a team-leading seven goals and 17 points thus far in the season. This is Munoz's second-straight All-Pac-10 nomination.
Three Golden Bears were awarded to the All-Pac-10 second team, including forward Calen Carr and defenders Troy Roberts and Tyson Wahl. In his sophomore year, Carr has notched a team-high six assists and third on the team with 10 points. Roberts has started in every game during his two years at Cal in the backfield. Wahl, one of two freshmen starters for the Bears this season, has served as key component to Cal's stellar defensive showing throughout the year.
Receiving honorable mention are sophomores Carl Acosta, Yohei Fukuda, Noah Merl and Kyle Navarro. As a forward, Acosta is second on the team with six goals and 13 points, serving as a mainstay reserve player. Defenders Fukuda, Merl and Navarro join Wahl to make the strong defensive wall that has led opponents to a mere 15 goals this season.
Oregon State head coach Dana Taylor was awarded Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year alongside Grimes. Midfielder Joe Zaher of Oregon State was selected as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.