Cal graduate Alex Morgan was named U.S. Soccer's female athlete of the year Monday while Santa Clara junior Julie Johnston was honored as young female athlete of the year.

Morgan, a rising star on the U.S. national team after helping lead the United States to a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, won the award in her first time on the ballot. She led the Americans with 28 goals, which was third-best all-time in a calendar year behind Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) and Michelle Akers (39 in 1991).

Morgan, 23, also has a team-leading 19 assists in 2012, the fourth-most in a single year. She still has three matches left on the Americans' fan tribute tour. Morgan is a candidate for FIFA's top individual award that will be announced Jan. 7.

Johnston edged her under-20 World Cup teammates Kealia Ohai of North Carolina and Illinois midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. Johnston started all six games on the backline and earned the Bronze Ball as the tournament's third-best player, a rarity for a defender. She returned to California after the World Cup to lead Santa Clara with eight goals and five assists in 14 appearances.

Johnston is the second Broncos player in three years to win the award. Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger of Los Gatos won in 2010.

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/elliottalmond.