Even with the hard-nosed defense and great leadership that senior Mustafa Chopan provided for the UC Davis men’s soccer team, the Bella Vista High graduate might be at his best in the classroom.
Chopan was named recently to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-West Region team, adding to his lengthy list of academic accolades.
The 11-member NSCAA regional squad includes student-athletes from some of the top institutions on the West Coast, including No. 10 New Mexico, Oregon State, San Jose State, San Diego State, Sacramento State and fellow Big West Conference school Cal State Northridge.
On the field, Chopan was an Aggie team captain in 2012, appearing in all 21 games as a defensive midfielder and helping UCD to six shutouts and a berth in the Big West Tournament championship match. He was instrumental in the Aggies’ sweeps of league powerhouses UC Santa Barbara and Sacramento State, as well as UCD’s 2-0 conference semifinal victory over Cal State Fullerton.
Academically, Chopan ranks in the top 1.3 percent of his class — made up of more than 2,000 students — in the College of Biological Sciences and was a top 10 finalist for the 2012 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Award. His 3.94 grade point average in neurobiology, physiology and behavior also earned him a second consecutive selection to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I team as well as a third straight Big West Fall All-Academic Team nod.