Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Cameron McElfresh and Kuba Waligorski anchored Division II's fourth-best defense statistically in 2016.
Cameron McElfresh Consensus First-Team All-America Goalie; Kuba Waligorski on NSCAA All-America Second Team
Release: Sunday 12/04/2016 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - University of California San Diego men's soccer stars Cameron McElfresh and Kuba Waligorski were officially unveiled Thursday morning as 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II All-Americans.

McElfresh is the consensus top goalkeeper in the land in Division II, adding NSCAA All-America First Team distinction to Wednesday's announcement of being the first-team Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-America goalie.

A product of Palo Alto (Henry M. Gunn HS) and five-year Triton, McElfresh is one of 11 standout players on the NSCAA's first team. Waligorski, a native of Szczecin, Poland, three-year Triton and captain, is a second-team All-America pick by the D2CCA and NSCAA. He is one of three defenders on the NSCAA's 11-member team.

McElfresh is UCSD's first first-team NSCAA All-American since former teammate and predecessor as starting net-minder, Josh Cohen, in 2013. He is the sixth Triton ever to earn the NSCAA's first-team designation, after UCSD Athletics Hall of Famer Chris Romey (1993), Bobby Saadati (2000), Matt Davey (2003), Jonathan Shum (2003) and Cohen.

McElfresh and Waligorski anchored the nation's No. 4-rated defense, with a 0.52 team goals-against average and 14 shutouts over 24 contests. The Tritons allowed 13 goals all year, and only eight of them were from the run of play, with four others coming from penalty kicks and one off of a free kick.

McElfresh wound up fourth in individual GAA (0.534), and second in save percentage (.854), shutouts (13) and goalie minutes played (2191:24). Waligorski also contributed offensively with a career-best four goals, three of them during the Tritons' three wins in the NCAA Championship en route to the national semifinals.

McElfresh was one of three Tritons who started all 24 matches. Waligorski missed just the season's second game, a 2-1 home win over Westmont, through injury. McElfresh was the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Defensive Player of the Year and Waligorski the CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player. Both made the All-CCAA First Team and CCAA All-Tournament Team.

A total of 34 players were placed on the three NSCAA All-America teams. McElfresh and Waligorski are among seven West Region representatives in all, with four more from the CCAA in the Cal Poly Pomona tandem of center back Nadeer Ghantous and forward Sergi Monso, Cal State Dominguez Hills playmaker Joey Chica and Cal State LA's Ihsan Kalkan. The latter three made the third team, with Ghantous the second.

This year's NSCAA Division II All-America teams feature a total of 70 men's and women's players, who will be formally acknowledged for their accomplishments at the NSCAA All-America Luncheon on Jan. 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, in conjunction with the 2017 NSCAA Convention.

Alongside its 2016 All-America honors, the NSCAA simultaneously announced all-region teams on Thursday. McElfresh and Waligorski made the 11-player first team to advance to the All-America ballot.

Winger Justice Duerksen and forward Sam Palano earned selection to the 11-player second team, with a fifth senior, central midfielder Riley Harbour, one of 12 on the third team.

It was a first regional honor for Duerksen, a second-year transfer from Seattle University and San Clemente. Harbour (Loomis) and Palano (Lafayette), both four-year Tritons, were also on the D2CCA All-West Region Second Team earlier.

Duerksen appeared in every match, starting all but one, and tied for third on the team with 13 points from four goals, including a pair of game-winners, and five assists. He was second with 46 shots and in fact led the squad with 21 shots on goal.

Harbour and Palano both started all 24 contests. Palano topped the Triton chart with 19 points from a team-high six goals and seven assists, all career bests. Harbour provided four goals and an assist for nine points. He and Palano had three game-winning strikes apiece. Harbour paced the CCAA with his 72 shot attempts.

UCSD, ranked 10th in the final NSCAA regular-season poll, saw the greatest year in its Division II history ended by top-ranked eventual national champion Wingate (N.C.) in the semifinals, 2-0, in Kansas City, Mo., last Thursday, Dec. 1. The Tritons were first-time champions of the CCAA, CCAA Tournament and Division II West Region. At 19-3-2, they tied with four other teams for the most wins in the nation.

Following Wingate's 2-0 victory over No. 4 Charleston (W.Va.) on Saturday for that program's first-ever national title, Palano was chosen to the 2016 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. He is the first Triton honored as such in 23 years since 1993, when UCSD won its last of three Division III crowns.


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