PHILADELPHIA - The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in conjunction with ESPN The Magazine, have named their 2009 Academic All-District teams for men's soccer, and Penn senior Alex Takakuwa has received first-team recognition in the University Division for District II.
(The University Division features every NCAA Division I program; District II covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia)
In order to be nominated for Academic All-District, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore at his school or a transfer entering at least his second year at his current institution. He must also carry a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.30. Awards are voted on by CoSIDA members.
As a first-team Academic All-District honoree, Takakuwa is now put on the national ballot to be eligible for ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Those awards will be announced in mid-November.
A mathematics major at Penn, Takakuwa has been one of the bright lights on this year's Quaker men's soccer team, and his path is certainly noteworthy. After playing for a year at the University of Chicago, he transferred to Penn in the summer of 2007 but did not join the soccer team. Instead, he walked on to the 2008 Ivy League championship squad and saw time in just two matches. This year, however, he has gained a starting role on the front line and is tied for the team lead with six goals.
Takakuwa and the rest of the Quakers -- who improved to 6-6-3 overall, 2-2-1 in Ivy play with a win at No. 20 Brown yesterday -- will be in action two more times this season, hosting Princeton this Saturday before concluding the 2009 regular season on November 14 at Harvard.