LA JOLLA, Calif. -
Senior Kirsten Bates
and sophomore Sarah Lizotte
of the UC San Diego women's water polo team were named to the 2012 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America Team, it was announced on Monday.
Bates and Lizotte both earned spots on the seven-member Division II first team, marking the second consecutive season the players were honored. Both were first team honorees following the 2011 season as well.
Bates put the finishing touches on a stellar career with the Tritons in 2012, tallying 51 goals, 18 assists and a team-high 45 steals during her senior campaign. She came up big during UCSD's run to the Western Water Polo Association Championship game, scoring a total of seven goals during the tournament, including two in a losing effort against rival Loyola Marymount in the final.
She was an All-WWPA Second Team selection for her efforts during the regular season and earned WWPA All-Tournament Second Team honors.
A native of Reedley, Calif., Bates scored a total of 203 goals in four seasons with the Tritons, a figure that ranks fourth on UCSD's all-time career list.
"Kirsten is one of the best players to ever come through this program and this award is just another feather in her cap after a tremendous career," UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. "Its nice to see that she was recognized on the national level for the season she had."
Lizotte put together a brilliant sophomore campaign, finishing with 91 goals, 32 assists and 37 steals and became UCSD's all-time single season scoring leader in the process. Her 91 goals eclipsed the previous record of 84 established by Julie Swail in 1995 and Sydney Gstettenbauer in 2009. She also set the single season record for shot attempts with 228.
An All-WWPA First Team selection, Lizotte scored seven goals during the conference championships, including a team-high three scores in the WWPA Championship game. The Riverside native was named to the All-Tournament First Team for her performance.
"We've known what Sarah can do for quite some time, but now the national coaches are starting to reaffirm what an up-and-coming star she is," Kreuztkamp continued. "We're very pleased that Sarah has performed at an All-American level in her first two seasons with the program, but we feel her best has yet to come."
UCSD finished with an overall record of 21-14 in 2012, recording the program's highest win total since the 2003 squad went 24-14. UCSD was 10-3 in WWPA play, winning eight of its last 10 heading into the WWPA Championships.
Playing in the friendly confines of Canyonview Pool, the Tritons defeated Sonoma State (12-7) and Cal State Monterey Bay (10-9) to advance to the conference championship game for the third consecutive season, but saw its season come to a close after losing a heart-breaking 7-6 decision to LMU.
For the complete ACWPC All-America Teams, click here.