Stanford senior forward Adam Jahn was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and midfielder Aaron Kovar was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year to highlight six Stanford men's soccer players earning all-conference honors Tuesday.
Encouraging for Stanford was not just the fact that it had six men honored by the conference, but that the sextet represented a satisfactory mix of youth and experience with three seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman recognized.
It was part of a larger effort that helped the Cardinal finish the 2012 campaign with a 9-8-1 mark, with its 5-4-1 (16 points) Pac-12 ledger good for third place and a top-half finish on the conference table in head coach Jeremy Gunn's first year at the helm.
For Jahn, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Week Tuesday for the second time this season, Tuesday's announcement marks his debut on the conference's first team after being named to the second team the previous three seasons. Jahn had a banner campaign in 2012, registering career bests of 13 goals, 30 points and four match-winning goals.
He won his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor earlier Tuesday for his masterful performance in last Friday's 6-1 rout of California. Jahn posted his first career hat trick, and the first Cardinal hat trick in 11 years, in the victory, netting the equalizer and go-ahead goals either side of halftime, then adding the third by rifling a shot into the roof of the net in the 77th minute.
Prior to Friday, Jahn, who started all 18 matches for the Cardinal, had provided the match-winner in Stanford's away wins over ranked teams such as No. 11 UC Irvine on Sept. 7 and No. 25 UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 26, in addition to an 86th-minute winner in a 3-2 home win over Oregon State on Oct. 18.
Kovar was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team in addition to his top freshman honor. By capturing Freshman of the Year Kovar became just the second Cardinal player to earn the award, joining Bobby Warshaw's 2007 honor.
On the year Kovar bolstered a young Cardinal midfield, scoring three goals and assisting on two others in 2012. He showed his potential early on in the campaign, scoring the lone goal in Stanford's season-opening 1-0 win at San Francisco on Aug. 24, and bookended his account with a goal in the finale at California last Friday.
He was joined on the second team by senior defender Hunter Gorskie. The senior defender started all 18 matches as a stalwart of the Cardinal back line in 2012, helping the defensive unit limit opponents to just 23 goals, an average of just 1.24 per game. As one of four seniors on the squad and the only one on the back line, Gorskie provided key leadership to a unit that posted six clean sheets in 2012.
Earning honorable mention were sophomore forward Zach Batteer and midfielders Dersu Abolfathi and JJ Koval.
UCLA took home the other two major conference awards with senior Ryan Hollingshead being named Pac-12 Player of the Year and head coach Jorge Salcedo being named Coach of the Year.
in other soccer news:
Santa Clara University senior Larry Jackson of East Palo Alto has been named the 2012 West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in men's soccer.
In the second year that the award has been handed out, Jackson took the top honor for keepers. In conference play, Jackson led the WCC with a 0.70 goals against average and six shutouts.
Jackson, who already has played with the U-17 and U-20 US National Teams, now has earned All-WCC honors in each of his three years in goal for SCU. Making his three all-league seasons even more impressive, is the fact that the 2012 campaign was Jackson's first playing more than 14 games as the Broncos' primary keeper. He went 11-5-1 with seven shutouts and 60 saves with a 0.85 GAA this fall.
"I can't get too high on (the award)," said Jackson. "The stats were good, I had more shutouts than I've had, but I would pass on it to have one more ball bounce our way and end up in the (NCAA) tournament. We played so many tight games; it's tough not to advance."
Named to the All-WCC Freshman Team was Gunn High grad Paul Blanchette of Loyola Marymount. He was the squad's goalie.