Cortes, Akubuilo Earn All-Region Honors
Seniors Sophie Cortes and Chidera Akubuilo tabbed United Soccer Coaches All-West Region selections.
Nov. 29, 2017
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – UNLV women’s soccer seniors Sophie Cortes and Chidera Akubuilo were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region teams, the organization announced Monday. Cortes earned a first team nod, while Akubuilo was tabbed a second team selection.
“I am very proud of Sophie and Chidera. They are truly deserving of the regional recognition,” said head coach Chris Shaw. “Both of them have represented UNLV in an exemplary fashion both on the field and off. Their class leaves UNLV as the winningest class in program history and these two have been a major reason for that success.”
Together, Cortes and Akubuilo led the Rebels to 49 wins over the last four seasons, which included winning the Mountain West regular season and tournament titles in the same year for the first time and helping UNLV reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in 10 years.
This marks the second straight year UNLV has landed two players on the all-region teams after not having anyone selected since 2012, with Akubuilo and former Rebel Lily Sender both earning first team honors after the 2016 season.
Cortes, from Newhall, California, developed into one of the top players in the Mountain West during her four years at UNLV. A dynamic and creative player, Cortes leaves as one of the top attacking personalities ever to play here. The two-time Mountain West All-Conference First Team selection had a breakout season in 2017, racking up 32 points on 12 goals and eight assists. The 32 points rank second all-time in a single-season, while her goals and assists were both tied for third-best. For her career, her 16 goals are tied for seventh all-time, her 49 points rank eighth all-time and her 17 assists are fifth-most in program history.
Akubuilo, a Torrance, California, native, is one of the top defenders to ever don the Scarlet & Gray. The four-year starter and two-year captain started 72 of 73 career games and became the first UNLV defender to earn Mountain West Defense Player of the Year honors after the 2016 campaign. Akubuilo is a two-time Mountain West All-Conference selection, having been named to the first team in 2016 and the second team in 2017. She wasn’t just a defensive threat as she scored eight goals and added two assists during her career. A dominate player on the UNLV back line, her shoes will be hard to fill next season.
The Rebels finished the 2017 campaign 13-7 overall and 5-6 in conference play. In addition to Cortes and Akubuilo, UNLV will lose Jordan Sallee, Michaela Kelsey and Courtney Anderson to graduation.
The full United Soccer Coaches All-Region teams can be found here.