Pac-10 Men's Soccer All-Conference Honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- In a vote by the Conference coaches, CALIFORNIA senior defender A.J. Soares was named Pac-10 Player of the Year, UCLA freshman midfielder Kelyn Rowe was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and head coach of the Golden Bears, Kevin Grimes, was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, as Commissioner Larry Scott announced the men's soccer all-conference honors today.
Pac-10 Player of the Year -- A.J. Soares, CALIFORNIA
The Solana Beach, Calif., native becomes the fourth Cal player all-time to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year. Soares joins Josh Saunders (2002), Calen Carr (2005) and Andrew Jacobsen (2007) as the other Golden Bears to win the award. A two-time first team All-Pac-10 honoree, the senior defender has tallied five goals and one assist this season. Soares is also an integral member of the Cal defense that has only allowed 13 goals in 17 games, best in the Conference. Soares earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice this season, doing so on Sept. 14 and Oct. 12. Soares leads Cal to its 16th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, earning a No. 6 seed and a first-round bye.
Pac-10 Freshman of the Year -- Kelyn Rowe, UCLA
Rowe is the second Bruin in a row and fourth overall to win Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Amobi Okugo took top freshman honors last season, while Alex Yi (2000), Chad Barrett (2003) and Sal Zizzo (2005) are the other UCLA winners. Rowe, a native of Federal Way, Wash., leads the Bruins in assists (8) and ranks second on the team in goals (6) and points (20). The midfielder is the only freshman to be named to the All-Pac-10 First Team. Rowe and the UCLA squad make their 28th-straight and 38th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, receiving the eighth seed and a first-round bye.
Pac-10 Coach of the Year -- Kevin Grimes, CALIFORNIA
After leading the Bears from a last-place Conference finish in 2009 to the Pac-10 title this season, Kevin Grimes was voted Pac-10 Coach of the Year. This is the fifth award for Grimes, who also won the honor in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Cal rebounded from an injury-riddled 2009 season to claim its third Pac-10 title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. This year's postseason appearance marks the ninth in Grimes' 11-year tenure. The Bears rank among the top teams in the nation in offensive and defensive categories. Cal is third in save percentage (0.89), 11th in scoring offense (2.06) and 16th in goals against average (0.7).