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Cal State LA men’s soccer player Morten Bjoershol named CCAA Male Athlete of the Year

June 09, 2022
Morten Bjoershol
Photo: Morten Bjoershol during a Cal State LA soccer match. (Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

Cal State LA men’s soccer player Morten Bjoershol named CCAA Male Athlete of the Year

June 09, 2022
Morten Bjoershol
Photo: Morten Bjoershol during a Cal State LA soccer match. (Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

Cal State LA men’s soccer player Morten Bjoershol was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday.

The award, which recognizes the best athlete from the CCAA’s six men’s sports, is voted on by the sports information staffs of the universities in the conference.

“It’s a huge honor and I’m very appreciative to the CCAA,” Bjoershol said in an interview after winning the award. “It was my pleasure to play and compete with Cal State LA in that conference for four years and develop into the player I am today. Winning the award for Male Athlete of the Year is a huge accomplishment for me and something I’m very proud of.”

Bjoershol becomes the second consecutive winner from Cal State LA. His former teammate Alexander Brems won the award in 2020. The conference did not give out the award in 2021 because competition was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For our program to earn two CCAA Athlete of the Year awards in a row is a tremendous honor and we will continue to strive to produce the best players in the conference,” said Cal State LA men’s soccer head coach Michael Erush. “On behalf of the Cal State LA community, including our staff, administration, his teammates and alumni, we all congratulate Morten for this great award.”

Bjoershol is the ninth Cal State LA student-athlete to win a CCAA Athlete of the Year award and the fourth athlete from a Cal State LA men’s team to take the top conference honor.

In his final season with the Golden Eagles, Bjoershol was named NCAA Division II Player of the Year and helped lead Cal State LA to the first national championship title in the history of the men’s soccer program in 2021.

Bjoershol anchored one of the best back lines in the nation, which ranked top three in both goals against average (0.54) and shutout percentage (0.565) across Division II. On the team’s national championship run, the Golden Eagles allowed only two goals in five playoff matches and shut out both of their opponents in the national semifinal and final.

“The Golden Eagle family is extremely proud of Morten, an extraordinary student-athlete,” said Daryl Gross, executive director for athletics at Cal State LA. “He has brought tremendous achievement to Cal State LA on and off the field, leading us to our first national championship in men’s soccer while exhibiting the highest character in the classroom and community. He is well-deserving of this big honor.”

The program’s first three-time All-American, Bjoershol claimed back-to-back CCAA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2021 and 2019 and earned All-Region honors in all four seasons with Cal State LA, including a West Region Player of the Year award in 2021.

In his career, Bjoershol appeared in a program-high 85 games for the Golden Eagles, scoring 12 goals in black and gold. In addition to the 2021 NCAA Division II National Championship, Bjoershol won two Super Region 4 championships, two CCAA regular-season championships and three CCAA Tournament titles with Cal State LA.

Bjoershol graduated from Cal State LA in fall 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and has since signed to play professional soccer with Las Vegas Lights Football Club, an affiliate of Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).

“I am very proud of Morten and all of his accomplishments the last four years,” Erush said. “I enjoy watching his progression as a professional soccer player and know he has a bright future ahead of him.”

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

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