EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - University of California San Diego men's soccer senior defensive stalwarts Cameron McElfresh and Kuba Waligorski have been chosen as 2016 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Americans.
McElfresh, a native of Palo Alto (Henry M. Gunn HS) in Northern California, is the goalkeeper on the 13-player D2CCA All-America First Team. The fifth-year Triton is UC San Diego's first first-team D2CCA All-American in the 11 years since that program's inception in 2006. It was formerly sponsored by Daktronics. Josh Cohen was UCSD's most recent first-team All-American, that by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 2013.
Waligorski, a third-year Triton center back out of Szczecin, Poland, is one of four defenders on the 13-player second team. He and McElfresh are UCSD's first All-Americans of any kind since 2013, when Cohen, Alec Arsht and Andisheh Bagheri earned selection from both Daktronics and the NSCAA.
Waligorski adds All-America distinction to his College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America Third Team honor from 2015. He and McElfresh are mechanical engineering and nanoengineering majors, respectively, both with grade-point averages north of 3.5.
McElfresh and Waligorski anchor the No. 3-rated defense in all of Division II heading into the final weekend of the season, with a 0.46 team goals-against average and 14 shutouts over 23 contests. The Tritons have allowed just 11 goals all year, with only six of them from the run of play. Four others, including the last three in a row, have come from penalty kicks, with one a free kick.
McElfresh is third in individual GAA (0.471), first in save percentage (.869), and second in shutouts (13) and goalie minutes played (2101:24). Waligorski has also contributed offensively with a career-best four goals, three of which have come during the Tritons' three wins thus far in the NCAA Championship. His first of 2016 was the overtime winner at Stanislaus State. He most recently produced a first collegiate two-goal brace as UCSD rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to down No. 11 Midwestern State in a national quarterfinal at home on Sunday, Nov. 20.
McElfresh is one of only three Tritons to start all 23 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.
Tenth-ranked UC San Diego (19-2-2) goes up against top-ranked Wingate (17-1) of North Carolina in the first national semifinal this Thursday, Dec. 1, in Kansas City, Mo. Kickoff at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village is set for 9 a.m. PT. The game can be viewed without charge at NCAA.com.
The Tritons are winners of six straight and are 14-1-1 over their last 16. They are first-time CCAA, CCAA Tournament and Division II West Region champions.
A total of 39 student-athletes were recognized on the three All-America teams, with an additional 16 earning honorable mention. McElfresh and Waligorski are among nine West Region representatives in all, with only one other from the CCAA in second-team midfield choice Joey Chica, a junior at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Sports information directors from NCAA Division II schools and conferences sponsoring men's soccer selected the D2CCA All-America teams. The process begins at the regional level with all first-team All-Region picks advancing to the national ballot. UCSD seniors Riley Harbour and Sam Palano were second-team honorees.