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Praise for Pyysalo
March 07, 2018
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Matias Pyysalo was named the American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year announced Wednesday by the conference.

The senior holds a 3.599 grade-point average and in May will graduate with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science.

The Helsinki, Finland native has a plethora of academic honors since becoming a Knight in 2014. He has earned The American All-Academic Team accolades from 2014-2017 and has made the Dean's list in the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2016. In addition to conference recognition, Pyysalo has also been honored as a part of the 2017 CoSida Academic All-Region First Team and the President's Honor Roll in the fall and spring of 2017 at UCF.

On the pitch, Pyysalo was ranked among the top five in the nation in 2017 in points per game with 2.07 and goals per game with 0.86. In the UCF men's soccer program, he ranks fifth in career goals (30), assists (19), and points (79). In 2017 and 2016 he led UCF in goals netting 12 each season and points with 29 in both season.

Pyysalo was also named to the 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Team in addition to being the 2016 and 2017 AAC Offensive Player of the Year, 2016 and 2017 First Team selection, 2017 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and a three-time Player of the week winner.

When he isn't on the field or in the classroom, Pyysalo volunteers his time in the community. He has been a youth soccer mentor at the Central Florida Dreamplex, is an active participant in Relay for Life, hosts soccer camps for low income school districts, and has taken part in the Knight of Giving taking underprivileged children Christmas shopping.

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