Natalie Saddic a Consensus All-American; Chosen to D2CCA All-America Second Team
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - Natalie Saddic, a redshirt sophomore in the University of California San Diego women's soccer program, is a consensus All-American for the 2017 season, as the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) on Friday announced its All-America teams.
Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) is one of four defenders on the 13-player second team, having just on Wednesday night been named a first-team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches.
Saddic advanced to the D2CCA All-America ballot by virtue of being selected to the organization's All-West Region First Team on Nov. 15. She is a first-time All-West Region and All-America selection this season, her second as a Triton after transferring from UC Davis, where she redshirted as a true freshman in 2015.
Saddic started all 22 matches for UC San Diego in the recently-concluded campaign, with the last five at center back and the first 17 right in front of that spot, anchoring a defense that ranked 21st nationally in goals-against average. She added a career-best three goals offensively, with the first two from the penalty spot, and the last one the headed winner with just 34 seconds left in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament final against then-No. 23 Sonoma State on Nov. 5.
Saddic is UC San Diego's first D2CCA All-American since four teammates made the second and third teams a season ago, including senior forward Katie O'Laughlin (Carlsbad/Pacific Ridge School) on the second as the D2CCA West Region Player of the Year. O'Laughlin and junior strike partner Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS), who earned D2CCA All-America honorable mention in 2016, were second-team all-region picks this season, and thus were not eligible for the All-America ballot.
Saddic had previously been honored as the 2017 CCAA Defensive Player of the Year and CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player.
No West Region players or California products made the D2CCA All-America First Team. Saddic was one of two West representatives, with Dixie State forward Darian Murdock, and two California natives, on the second team. Only one other CCAA player, Cal State LA freshman Paulina Chaidez, was recognized, on the third team.
UC San Diego finished the year at 17-2-3 overall and as the treble winner of the CCAA regular season, CCAA Tournament and West Region. Ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season national poll and top-seeded in the West, the Tritons were eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker by 23rd-ranked South Central Region champion University of Colorado Colorado Springs in La Jolla on Nov. 19. They ended the season riding a 17-match (14-0-3) unbeaten streak, and 13-0-1 at home. UCSD was undefeated (10-0-1) in CCAA play for a second successive campaign.