PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Inquirer has announced its Academic All-Area Teams for the 2013 fall season, and the University of Pennsylvania had eight student-athlete recognized.
In order to be eligible for Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area honors, student-athletes must be in their second year at their current institution and hold a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.20. The teams are voted on by the members of the 28 Philadelphia-area sports information offices (PhillySIDA).
Junior Carly Sokach was voted Performer of the Year in field hockey and was also named to the Academic All-Area Team in that sport. Sokach played every minute in the cage for the Quakers this season and earned first-team All-Ivy, the first goalkeeper in program history to be so honored. She finished the year 11th nationally in goals-against average (1.97) and save percentage (.776), and 13th in saves per game (7.12). A two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, she was one of the catalysts on a team that finished the season 13-4 -- one win shy of the program record -- and took second place in the Ivy League at 5-2.
Christopher Bush, Sebastian Jaskowski, Spencer Kulcsar and Ty Taylor were voted to the football team. Bush was a first-team All-Ivy selection this fall, anchoring an offensive line that helped the Quakers average 26.1 points per game. Kulcsar was Penn’s second-leading rusher this season, with 462 yards on 110 carries including three touchdowns, while Taylor finished third on the team in receptions (31) and receiving yards (393). On the other side of the ball, Jaskowski -- a first-team All-Ivy pick in 2012 -- finished third on the team with 56 tackles and led Penn with three forced fumbles and two recoveries.
Kathryn Barth and Claire Walker were voted to the women’s soccer team. Both were regular starters on a team that went 12-1-4 this season and took second place in the Ivies at 5-1-1. Barth ended the season with two goals and two assists for six points, while Walker was part of a defense that shut out 12 opponents and allowed just eight goals. Both Barth and Walker also earned Capital One Academic All-District honors this fall from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Senior Dani Shepherd was voted to the volleyball team. A two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and AVCA Northeast All-Region Honorable Mention, she earned first-team All-Ivy for the third year in a row and is just the fourth Quaker to earn the honor three years in a row. Even though the libero missed seven matches due to injury, Shepherd led the Ivy League in digs per set (5.52) and finished the regular season 11th nationally at the Division I level after leading the nation in that category a year ago.