Four Tritons Selected to United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The University of California San Diego women's soccer program had four star student-athletes selected Monday to the 2018 United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team.
Veterans Summer Bales (Temecula/Great Oak HS), Megumi Barber (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Mary Reilly (Chula Vista/Hilltop HS) and Natalie Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) are on the 11-player first team. Bales, Barber and Reilly are fourth-year seniors. Saddic is a redshirt junior in her third go-around as a Triton.
Bales, Reilly and Saddic previously were chosen to the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-West Region First Team. Barber was not recognized there, but deservedly honored Monday with her first regional award.
Bales, Reilly and Saddic made the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) First Team, while Barber was a member of the second team.
Reilly, the D2CCA West Region Player of the Year and CCAA Offensive Player of the Year, and strike partner Barber are two of the four forwards on the first team. Bales is one of three midfielders and Saddic, the CCAA Defensive Player of the Year, among three defenders. Saddic is the holding central midfielder for the Tritons, just in front of their three-player back line.
As first-teamers, all four advance to the ballot for United Soccer Coaches All-America, expected to be announced on Wednesday, ahead of the 2018 NCAA Division II Championship in Pittsburgh, Pa.
UC San Diego, ranked sixth and seeded second, is in Pittsburgh, set to take on 17th-ranked and third-seeded Bridgeport (Conn.) in the first national semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 29. Kickoff at Highmark Stadium is set for 2 p.m. PT ( 5 p.m. ET).
Saddic is a repeat United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team selection. She was a unanimous All-American a season ago. Reilly is a perfect four-for-four for United Soccer Coaches All-West Region honors, with three first-team nods following a second-team spot as a freshman.
Reilly leads the entire NCAA Division II West Region with her 16 goals scored, a single-season career high for the local product. Seven of them have been game-winners. She paces the league in total points as well, and in shots taken for the fourth consecutive season. Her career-best 114 shots are 46 more than the player behind her in the CCAA, Barber. Reilly's 49 goals as a Triton rank fourth in program history, with her 121 points fifth.
Saddic anchors a UC San Diego defense that boasts the top team goals-against average in the CCAA of 0.512. That mark is good enough for second in the West Region and 11th nationally. The Tritons have achieved 12 shutouts over their 23 matches. The first-ever back-to-back CCAA Defensive Player of the Year has also contributed on the offensive end, with two goals to go along with a career-high five assists, which tie her for second in the CCAA, behind only Bales. Two of them came on game deciders in home wins on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21, and two more during this postseason run. Saddic contributed a goal and an assist as UC San Diego earned a fourth CCAA Tournament title in a row.
Bales leads the CCAA in assists for the second consecutive season with her career-high 10. She produced the first goal of her final campaign in a 5-0 home rout over San Francisco State in the CCAA Tournament semifinals on Nov. 2, and added a second to give her side a 2-0 advantage at West Texas A&M in the national quarterfinals. Bales has improved her assist total in all four of her college years, from two, to six, to seven, and now 10, giving her 25 to lead all current Tritons.
Barber has taken an absolute star turn as a first-year starter up top alongside Reilly, joining her in double figures with her first career hat trick in that quarterfinal on Nov. 18 in Canyon, Texas. She is second only to Reilly in the entire league in points, goals and shots. Barber earlier turned in her first collegiate brace in the CCAA Tournament final in front of the home crowd back on Nov. 4, and has six goals thus far in this five-game postseason run.
Bales, Barber, Reilly and Saddic have each started all 23 matches this season for UC San Diego. Saddic in fact has been in the starting lineup for 62 consecutive contests. She and Bales, who has 46 straight starts, are first-year team co-captains.
Should the Tritons (19-2-2) advance on Thursday, Saturday's championship game in Pittsburgh is set for 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET) at Highmark Stadium.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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