AUSTIN, Texas - Sam Palano has earned the prestigious College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America® distinction for NCAA Division II men's soccer, as announced on Monday morning.
A senior forward out of Lafayette in Northern California, Palano made the 11-player second team out of 33 honorees in all. He had been selected last month to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 First Team for a second time (2014), putting him on the Academic All-America ballot.
One of three forwards on the second team, Palano maintains a 3.82 grade-point average in general biology.
Palano is a first-time All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) selection, also on the second team, with career-high totals across the board. He is one of three Tritons to start all 23 games thus far, leading the squad with six goals and 19 total points, and is second with seven assists. Palano was named the CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Offensive Player after scoring the overtime winner in the final.
Tenth-ranked UC San Diego is the first-time CCAA regular-season, CCAA tournament and Division II West Region champion, and has advanced to the national semifinals in Kansas City, Mo. The Tritons will travel next Monday, Nov. 28, and take on top-ranked Wingate (N.C.) on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m. PT at Swope Soccer Village. It will mark the program's first semifinal at the Division II level, and first since the 1993 squad won UCSD's third and final Division III national championship.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her sports information department.
For the second year in a row, after senior center back Kuba Waligorski was a third-team Academic All-American in 2015, the only honoree from the CCAA is a Triton.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 20,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and the NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.