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PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College freshman Briana Afoa was named the Baden women’s soccer player of the year, and the Pirates’ Andrew Chapman was named men’s soccer coach of the year.
Afoa, who came to Peninsula from Kapolei, Hawaii, is the first recipient of the new Baden player of the year award, introduced by NWAACC Director Marco Azurdia, who broke the news to Afoa, coach Kanyon Anderson and the Pirate athletic department in a conference call on Tuesday.
“I was speechless,” Afoa said. “This is definitely a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
Afoa and her teammates put together a 23-1-0 record — and the first women’s sports championship in the college’s history, beating Spokane in a shootout in the championship match to bring home the NWAACC trophy as the best community college women’s soccer team in Washington and Oregon.
She led the NWAACC in scoring with 23 goals and tied for fifth in assists with nine. Earlier, she was also named the West Division player of the year.
“Bri has been incredible all year long,” Anderson said.
“She deserves all the recognition she has received, and she has handled it very well. She is tough on the field and humble off it.”
Afoa talked about how the support of her family in Hawaii and the effort of her “Peninsula family” made her success possible.
“I feel a great sense of gratitude for all those who helped me achieve this award,” she said.
Coach Anderson sited her success as a “reflection of the work her teammates did all year long.”
“They got her the ball in dangerous places, won the ball back and gave her the freedom to attack,” he said.
“She did her part by scoring goals when we needed them most. We return a deep and talented group next year, which means that Bri, and all the players, will have another good opportunity to succeed.”
Coach Chapman, meanwhile, won the NWAACC men’s soccer coach of the year award for the third time in his 10-year career, which started at Peninsula.
He also won the honor in 2010 and 2007.
Coach Chapman and coach Anderson both won the West Division coach of the year awards this season, and Anderson was the NWAACC coach of the year in 2011.
“We have such a hard-working and talented coaching staff, I was very happy for Andrew that he was named Coach of the Year again this year,” said Rick Ross, Peninsula director of athletics.
“He oversees both programs and we have a group of eight coaches, including student assistants, who all contributed to a truly remarkable feat of capturing two championships.”
The Peninsula men won their second NWAACC championship in 16 years of Pirate soccer history, beating Walla Walla 1-0 in a thrilling championship match, back on Nov. 18
The Pirates also claimed that title in 2010.
Peninsula athletes dominated a number of other postseason awards as well.
For the women, Peninsula had five players named to the West Region All-Star Team, including Afoa (player of the year), Jordan Dinneen, Deidra Woodward, Kendra Miner and Aubrey Briscoe.
In addition, Annie Armstrong, Denae Brooks and Ashlyn Frizzell were named All-Region for 2012.
For the men, the Pirates had eight players on the West Region All-Star Team, including Daniel Gonzalez (player of the year), Alex Martinez, Henrique Noujeimi, Irvin Somera, Erick Urzua, Aaron Jeffery, Morgan Lemus and Guilherme Avelar.
All-Region honors went to Omar Ambrocio, Parker Vacura and Mark Cottrell.
Gonzalez was also named All-Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Pirates also did well in the academic realm. Earning spots on the NWAACC All-Academic Team were Morgan Atchley, Aubrey Briscoe, Sydney Bullington, Brittany Dyer-Smith and Emilia Stefanko from the women’s team, as well as Ambrocio, Avelar, Gonzalez and Jeffery from the men’s squad.
Only sophomores are eligible for that award.