Sports

Pac-12 soccer honors for Stanford's Vincent, coach Gunn

 

Stanford's Brandon Vincent was the first-ever selection as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Jeremy Gunn earned his first Pac-12 Coach of the Year nod when All-Pac-12 honors for the 2014 season were announced by the conference on Thursday evening as determined by a polling of the league's coaches.

A junior captain, Vincent anchored Stanford's championship defense that went undefeated at home (8-0-2) and posted the conference's second-best goals-against average (0.84). The Cardinal also tied for the Pac-12 lead in goals allowed, only surrendering 16. It's the first year a Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year has been awarded.

Vincent has also proven himself more than capable on the offensive end. Precipitated by a moved to left back before the year, the economics major leads the team with six goals, including three game winners, after entering 2014 with just one in his first 38 career matches.

In his third year on The Farm, Jeremy Gunn has engineered the rapid ascent of a Cardinal program that now sits among the nation's elite. Stanford won its first Pac-12 title since 2001 on Sunday and finished the regular season with a 13-2-3 mark, its highest win total before the tournament since 2002 (14).

Under Gunn, Stanford finished ranked first in the nation in every major poll, No. 2 in the NCAA RPI and earned a No. 6 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. He's the third Cardinal men's soccer coach to receive recognition from his peers as the conference's best and first since 2009.

Those two headlined a group of eight Stanford men's soccer players that claimed spots on various All-Pac-12 teams on Thursday.

Vincent, along with sophomore forward Jordan Morris, were Stanford's representatives on the All-Pac-12 First Team. A 2013 second-teamer, it's Vincent's first selection to the first team.

Morris earned his second consecutive spot on the league's first team, the first Cardinal to do that since Bobby Warshaw in 2009 and 2010. He has started all 14 games in which he's played this season for Stanford tallying four goals, 14 points and a team-high six assists. On Tuesday, Morris became the first active collegian since 1995 to earn a cap for the U.S. Men's National Team when he played in the team's friendly against Ireland in Dublin.

Stanford led the way with five selections to the 11-man All-Pac-12 Second Team in Corey Baird, Zach Batteer, Andrew Epstein, Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Austin Meyer.

Ty Thompson rounded out Stanford's All-Pac-12 honorees, as the junior was an honorable mention selection for the second straight season. He's started 13 of 18 games and tallied one assist while holding down the Cardinal's central midfield with Meyer.

Stanford begins its NCAA Tournament at home on Sunday at 5 p.m. against UC Irvine.

In other soccer news, Stanford had more than 10 of its student-athletes receive recognition from the conference for their combined work in the classroom and on the field when the Pac-12 announced its Men's Soccer All-Academic squads on Friday morning.

Twelve Cardinal were on this year's list, five more than any other institution. Eleven received similar recognition in 2013 and another 12 in 2012.

To be eligible for selection, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average, at least one year of enrollment at the institution and appear in at least 50 percent of the team's games. True freshmen are not eligible for Pac-12 All-Academic teams.

Bobby Edwards, Andrew Epstein, Austin Meyer and Ty Thompson led the way with their selections to the Pac-12 All-Academic First Team.

Six Cardinal earned spots on the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team in Zach Batteer, Jimmy Callinan, Marshall Glover, Slater Meehan, Jordan Morris and Eric Verso.

Receiving honorable mention were sophomore Brian Nana-Sinkam and Brandon Vincent.

— Stanford Athletics

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