ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - Four University of California San Diego men's soccer seniors were selected Wednesday to 2016 Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-West Region teams.
A pair of defensive anchors in fifth-year goalkeeper Cameron McElfresh and third-year center back Kuba Waligorski made the 13-player first team. Central midfield playmaker Riley Harbour and striker Sam Palano, both fourth-year Tritons, were chosen to the 13-player second team. McElfresh and Waligorski move on to the ballot for D2CCA All-America, to be announced in two weeks. Waligorski is the only one of the quartet with a previous All-Region honor, as a second-teamer in 2014.
McElfresh and Waligorski lead what is statistically the nation's No. 3 defense, with a 0.46 team goals-against average. McElfresh is fourth in individual GAA (0.47). The Tritons have posted 13 shutouts, while Waligorski has also contributed offensively with a pair of late-season goals, the first an overtime winner at Stanislaus State.
Palano leads the team in goals, assists (tied), total points and game-winning goals (tied) with six, seven, 19 and three, respectively. All are career bests. He is tied for first in the CCAA in assists and tied for fourth in points. Harbour paces the league with his 65 shots, and is sixth on the Tritons' points chart with nine from four goals and an assist. Three of those tallies have been winners.
McElfresh, Harbour and Palano are the only three Tritons to have started all 21 matches so far. Waligorski missed just the season's second game, a 2-1 home win over Westmont, through injury. McElfresh was the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the All-CCAA First Team by Harbour and Waligorski. Palano made the second team.
Tenth-ranked UC San Diego is wrapping up preparations for this Friday night's West Region final of the 2016 NCAA Championship against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rival and reigning West champion Cal Poly Pomona. Kickoff at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla is slated for 7 p.m. The first 200 UCSD students will gain free admittance. Those unable to attend can view the game, for free, in high definition on UCSDtritons.tv.
The Tritons are 17-2-2 overall, winners of four straight, 12-1-1 over their last 14, and an unbeaten 10-0-1 this season in front of the home crowd. They scored twice over the last 4:27 of regulation at CPP in the regular-season finale on Oct. 29, to stun the Broncos, 2-1, and snatch the CCAA title away. UCSD later added a program-first CCAA Tournament banner on Nov. 6 in Turlock, before producing a first Division II tourney triumph, 2-0, in La Jolla over Western Washington last Sunday, Nov. 13.