CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Joe Bell (Wanaka, New Zealand) was recognized on Wednesday (Dec. 18) as the United Soccer Coaches Association Scholar Player of the Year and a First Team Scholar All-American. He Virginia men’s soccer’s first Scholar All-American and the only student-athlete selected to this year’s team from an Atlantic Coast Conference institution.
To qualify as a scholar All-American, student-athletes must be a junior or above at their institution in academic standing. They must also have started more than 50 percent of all games played and been a significant contributor to their team. Student-athletes must also have a cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for their career.
Bell is a third-year psychology major and a two-time member of the ACC All-Academic Team. Earlier this week he was named a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-Region honoree to go along with his placement on the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team in early November.
One of the nation’s most complete players, Bell is a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2019 Midfielder of the Year. He was a co-captain on a Virginia Cavaliers team that earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the NCAA Final before falling to Georgetown in penalty kicks. The Cavaliers were crowned ACC Coastal Division Champions, ACC Tournament Champions and collected 21 wins, the most of any team in the country.
Bell started 22 of the 24 matches for Virginia, missing two games after being called up to the New Zealand full National Team for friendlies in Ireland and Lithuania. He tallied 18 points (7g, 4a) in 2019 including three goals in the NCAA Tournament. His brace against SMU, that included the match’s golden goal sent Virginia to the College Cup for the 13th time in program history. In the National Championship game he scored the game’s first goal and was also successful on his penalty kick attempt en route to College Cup All-Tournament team honors.