WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - UC San Diego goalkeeper Josh Cohen is the 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Most Valuable Defensive Player, junior teammate Alec Arsht made the All-CCAA First Team, and Jon Pascale is the CCAA Coach of the Year. The announcement was made Thursday morning by the league office.
Junior captain Gavin Lamming, Arsht's partner in central defense for a majority of the season, and senior midfielder Andisheh Bagheri joined Cohen on the All-CCAA Second Team. Senior forward Evan Walker earned All-CCAA honorable mention.
Cohen, out of Sunnyvale and Bellarmine College Prep, is the Tritons' second Most Valuable Defensive Player in three years after Jared Kukura in 2010. He leads the entire NCAA Division II through games played on Oct. 28, with his 0.397 goals-against average. Having started 12 of 13 games played and kept seven individual shutouts, Cohen was a key cog in UCSD finishing the year with a 0.44 team goals-against average, easily a new CCAA single-season record.
Pascale is the first CCAA Coach of the Year for UCSD in men's soccer. He guided the team to a third straight winning season in his fifth year in charge in 2012, at 9-4-4 overall and 8-3-4 in league play. The Tritons placed third in the CCAA South Division and narrowly out of the top two CCAA Championship spots, despite boasting the nation's top defense with Cohen, Arsht, Lamming and company posting 12 shutouts over their 17 matches and allowing just eight goals in all.
Arsht was the Tritons' lone representative on the All-CCAA First Team as one of three defenders. The versatile native of Oak Park picked up All-CCAA honorable mention as a midfielder in 2011. Arsht started 14 of 16 games played this season.
Lamming, out of San Juan Capistrano, started all 16 games he appeared in, missing one match through injury, and provided one goal offensively.
A Davis native, Bagheri was a midfield general for Pascale's side, starting 10 of 16 matches played and assisting on a score.
Walker, like Cohen a one-time Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week in 2012, was second on the Triton points chart with seven from two goals, both game-winners, and a team-best three assists.
The five UCSD players who were recognized by the league head coaches constituted a high under Pascale, with a previous best of three.
-- UCSDtritons.com --