Nov. 13, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - 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.
Honored alongside Jahn and Kovar, Hunter Gorskie was named to the second team while Dersu Abolfathi, Zach Batteer and JJ Koval were named honorable mention.
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, an El Macero native, 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. The Seattle native 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 Gorskie. The senior defender from Marlboro Township, N.J. 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 Batteer and midfielders Abolfathi and Koval.
Batteer, after scoring a goal with an assist as a freshman last year, broke out with six goals in his sophomore campaign. Despite going the first eight matches without a goal, Batteer came alive over the final 10 matches, scoring his six goals over the Cardinal's season-ending 6-3-1 run, including a brace in a 2-0 win over California.
Abolfathi, a senior from Irvine, provided a senior leadership in helping marshal the Cardinal midfield. In addition to assisting the possession game for Stanford, Abolfathi provided two goals, one in the away win over No. 11 UC Irvine and another in a 4-0 away win at San Diego State on Nov. 3, as well as assisting on two other goals in Cardinal victories.
Koval was another member of the Cardinal midfield recognized by the Pac-12, being named honorable mention for the second straight year. Starting 17 of Stanford's matches in 2012, the Camarillo native took 35 shots on the year, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on another pair as one of the Cardinal's most effective attacking midfielders.