KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Five UC San Diego men’s soccer players in Alec Arsht, Andisheh Bagheri, Josh Cohen, Gavin Lamming and Alessandro Canale have been selected to National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire All-West Region teams for NCAA Division II, as announced Thursday morning.
Arsht, Bagheri and Cohen were among 11 players on the first team. A fourth Triton senior, Gavin Lamming, made the 12-player second team, while junior striker Alessandro Canale earned a spot on the 14-player third team.
The trio of Tritons on the first team were equaled only by Simon Fraser with three selections. The Clan eliminated UCSD after a penalty-kick tiebreaker in the West Region title match in Denver, Colo., on Nov. 22. No other schools in the West had as many as five on the NSCAA’s three teams. Cal State L.A. and Seattle Pacific had four.
Of the five UCSD representatives, only Arsht, a center back and captain out of Oak Park, is a repeat NSCAA All-West Region pick, having been chosen twice before, to the second team as a junior in 2012 and the third team as a sophomore in 2011.
Bagheri paced UCSD offensively with 22 points from a career-high 10 goals and two assists, starting 20 of 21 games played. Arsht and Cohen anchored a back line that is No. 5 nationally in goals-against average at 0.52 after leading all of Division II in that category in 2012. Arsht started all 21 games in which he appeared, adding one goal and one assist offensively. Cohen played every minute this season and wound up with 61 saves and 10 individual shutouts. He is sixth nationally in GAA (0.517).
Lamming started all 22 matches as Arsht’s center-back mate. The product of San Juan Capistrano provided two critical goals and one assist on the offensive end. In his first season in a Triton uniform after a transfer from Santa Monica College, Venice native Canale contributed five goals and three assists for 13 total points, second on the squad behind only Bagheri. He drew 15 starts among 18 appearances.
The Tritons had their most successful season since moving up from Division III to Division II for the 2000 campaign. Under the direction of sixth-year head coach Jon Pascale, UCSD went 14-3-5 overall, was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation, made its first postseason appearance since 2005 and earned its first NCAA Championship berth since 2003. The Tritons’ 14 wins were their most in two decades, since 1993.
Arsht, Bagheri and Cohen now advance to be eligible for NSCAA All-America distinction. Arsht and Bagheri were each named to the Daktronics All-America Second Team on Wednesday, with Cohen garnering All-America honorable mention.