MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fifth-year senior midfielder Pau Jimenez Albelda, fifth-year senior defender Kevin Morris and senior defender Aaron Denk Gracia of the No. 21-ranked West Virginia University men’s soccer team have been named to the 2021 Academic All-District 2 First Team on Thursday, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The honor marks Morris’ third academic all-district accolade in a row. It’s also Denk Gracia’s second career honor and Jimenez Albelda’s first. Additionally, the Mountaineers’ three selections are the most in one season in program history.
Next, Denk Gracia, Jimenez Albelda and Morris advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America National ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honors will be selected in the coming weeks.
A native of Barcelona, Spain, Jimenez Albelda has played in all 17 games this fall, including 12 starts, for 1,074 minutes of action. His two goals, four assists and eight total points are all career highs at WVU.
A two-time team captain, Jimenez Albelda also has tallied 18 shots on the year, with six of them on goal. For his career, he has recorded three goals and six assists for 12 points in 46 games played (35 starts).
In the classroom, Jimenez Albelda is a two-time member of the Academic All-MAC Team and Academic All-Big 12 At-Large First Team, and he has appeared on the Dean’s List, Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll. Jimenez Albelda graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies in Dec. 2020 and is currently working on his second bachelor’s degree in sport management, all while maintaining a GPA of 3.54.
Morris, who hails from Mt. Airy, Maryland, has started in all 17 matches for WVU this season. What’s more, the two-time team captain has started 79 consecutive matches in all, dating back to the 2017 campaign.
Morris has tallied two goals with one assist for five points this year, and he has been an anchor for the WVU back line, which has recorded eight shutouts in 2021. For his career, Morris has played in a WVU-record 88 matches, posting seven goals and six assists for 20 points in a staggering 7,729 minutes.
Academically, Morris was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team selection last spring. He also was tabbed to the organization’s academic all-district team in 2018 and 2019. 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.
Morris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in Dec. 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 registered his first two career assists and points for West Virginia this fall. In 17 matches played (all starts), the Mannheim, Germany, native has posted 14 shots, including five on goal. He also ranks No. 4 on the team with 1,517 minutes played this season.
Along with Morris, he helped the Mountaineers post eight shutouts this season. In all, Denk Gracia has started in all 26 matches of his two-year, WVU career.
Last season, Denk Gracia 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.
Away from soccer, Denk Gracia has maintained a 3.96 GPA while majoring in general business.
The Mountaineers (11-2-4, 4-1-1 MAC) open postseason play in the 2021 MAC Championship with a semifinal match against Georgia State on Thursday, Nov. 11, in DeKalb, Illinois. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET.