MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Dec. 10, 2021) – Fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris and senior defender Aaron Denk Gracia of the West Virginia University men’s soccer team have been named to the Academic All-America Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
For the second consecutive season, Morris earned first-team honors, while Denk Gracia was placed on the third team. The two defenders become the Mountaineers’ first duo to earn Academic All-America honors in the same season since Andy Bevin and Jack Elliott in 2014.
Overall, WVU has now garnered 10 Academic All-America honors in program history.
Morris, a co-captain, started all 21 matches for WVU this fall, totaling 2,017 minutes. The Mt. Airy, Maryland, native earned All-MAC Second Team and All-North Region Third Team distinction after tallying two goals and two assists for six total points. He also was a stalwart in the WVU back line, which recorded nine shutouts in 2021.
In all, Morris holds the program record for career matches played (92), career matches started (83) and minutes played (8,140). Additionally, he becomes the first WVU player to earn two consecutive first-team academic honors since Andy Bevin in 2013-14.
A three-time Academic All-MAC and Academic All-Big 12 At-Large First Team member, Morris has earned President’s List and Dean’s List status at WVU, and he has appeared on multiple honor rolls. He also is a recipient of the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award, the Big 12 Conference’s highest academic honor.
Morris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in December 2020 and is currently pursuing a master’s in business data analytics. He maintained a 3.90 undergrad GPA and holds a 4.0 GPA in his graduate courses.
Denk Gracia appeared in all 21 matches for the Mountaineers this season, including 20 starts. He collected a pair of assists on the year to go along with 13 shots, five on goal, in 1,819 minutes of action. Along with Morris, he helped WVU register nine clean sheets in 2021, tied for the fifth-most in single-season program history.
Denk Gracia has appeared on the Academic All-MAC Team, as well as the President’s List, Dean’s List, Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll at WVU. Previously, he was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection in 2019, when he was enrolled at Mercy College.
The Mannheim, Germany, native has maintained a 3.96 GPA while majoring in general business.
West Virginia, which reached the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 1981, finished 12-3-6 on the year, including 4-1-1 in Mid-American Conference play. The Mountaineers were seeded No. 11 in the NCAA Tournament, marking the first time it earned a national seed in the event since 2007.
Additionally, the club finished 8-0-3 at home, good for its first unbeaten campaign at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium since 2007.
Press Release: WVU Athletic Department