Walker, Hafferty, Djeffal Named College Players of Distinction
CORVALLIS – Oregon State standouts Joel Walker, Joe Hafferty and Sofiane Djeffal have been honored by the United Soccer Coaches as College Players of Distinction, the association announced Wednesday.
The College Player of Distinction award, in its first season, recognizes players based on the following criteria:
- Player has achieved quality performance on the field;
- Represented the highest ideals of team leadership;
- Exhibited quality character attributes including sportsmanship and respect for teammates, opponents, officials and the game in general;
- Made other significant contributions to the benefit of the program and the community.
Walker was named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year this season, and was a Senior CLASS Award All-American. Walker, along with women's soccer player Maddy Ellsworth, helped to launch the Dam Change initiative, a platform designed to bring awareness regarding the issues of systemic racism in today's society. Oregon State's SAAC President, he has also been an active member of the Beavers' Dam Worth It mental health awareness initiative. He has nine career goals and 10 career assists.
Djeffal made the Pac-12 Honor Roll this season, and was an All-Region selection. He is a three-time All-Pac-12 First Team honoree, and was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2018. The midfielder tallied six goals and two assists this season, despite missing three matches due to injury. Djeffal currently has 15 career assists, tying him for fifth in Oregon State history.
Hafferty, also a Pac-12 Honor Roll selection, was a stalwart for the Oregon State back-line over the last four seasons. The defender earned his second-straight All-Pac-12 First Team nod, and was part of a Beaver defense that conceded less than a goal per contest on average. Hafferty was selected with the 37th overall pick in January's MLS SuperDraft.
As a team, Oregon State finished the year 9-5 and made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last three years. The Beavers are ranked No. 19 in the postseason Top Drawer Soccer rankings.
Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).