College: Victorine and Clemens win MAC awards

Santa Clara's Mandy Clemens and UCLA's Sasha Victorine gave the West Coast a sweep of the Missouri Athletic Club Players of the Year awards, which were announced on Dec. 8. The awards also are the official Division I Player of the Year selections by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and adidas. Clemens, a senior forward and Santa Clara's all-time leading scorer, was a runaway winner for the women's award. She received 37 first-place votes in balloting by Division I coaches and finished with 154 points to top Seton Hall's Kelly Smith, who finished second with 16 first-place votes and 89 total points. "I am really grateful for this award," said Clemens, whose team lost to Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Women's College Cup on Dec. 3. "I want to thank my teammates because I definitely would not have been able to receive this if not for them. I wish our team could have won the championship so they could have been honored too." Victorine, who split time between forward and midfield during his senior season for the Bruins, won the closest voting in the 14-year history of the MAC men's award. He finished with 13 first-place votes and a total of 71 points, just one point more than Ali Curtis of Duke. Curtis actually received one more first-place vote than Victorine with 14 votes. Points were awarded on the basis of three points for first, two points for second and one point for third. Two other men's players, Adin Brown of William and Mary and Nick Garcia of Indiana, also were within 10 points of Victorine's winning total. "I'm ecstatic," said Victorine, the first West Coast player to win the men's award. "I set a goal when I injured my knee in 1997 to come back and be as good if not a better player than I was before I got hurt. This shows how hard I've worked and means a lot to me." Victorine is UCLA's leading scorer this season with a career-high 12 goals and eight assists. He scored the winning goal in the Bruins' 2-0 win over Virginia to advance to the College Cup this weekend in Charlotte, N.C. UCLA plays defending champion Indiana in a semifinal on Dec. 10. Clemens scored 24 goals and added 23 assists for Santa Clara this season and her career totals of 67 goals and 65 assists established her as the leading scorer in school history. Clemens, a native of San Diego, and Victorine, who is from Corona, Calif., will be presented with the traditional crystal ball trophies on Jan. 7, 2000, during a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. ESPN sportscaster Bob Ley will be the featured speaker at the dinner. Ley also was selected NSCAA Honorary All-America in 1999 for his service to the sport. Following are the final vote totals for the top five finishers in the men's and women's categories, with first-place votes in parentheses:
Women's Player of the Year
Name School Points
1. Mandy Clemens Santa Clara 154 (37)
2. Kelly Smith Seton Hall 89 (16)
3 Lorrie Fair North Carolina 72 (8)
4. Anne Makinen Notre Dame 48 (8)
5. Jenny Streiffer Notre Dame 45 (3)
Men's Player of the Year
Name School Points
1. Sasha Victorine UCLA 71 (13)
2. Ali Curtis Duke 70 (14)
3. Adin Brown William & Mary 64 (13)
4. Nick Garcia Indiana 61 (10)
5. Aleksey Korol Indiana 52 (7)
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