Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Megumi Barber and Jack Turner are both first-time San Diego Sports Association Star of the Month honorees.

Megumi Barber and Jack Turner Honored as San Diego Sports Association November Stars of the Month

UC San Diego

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SAN DIEGO - University of California San Diego student-athletes Megumi Barber and Jack Turner were named last Thursday as San Diego Sports Association Stars of the Month for November.

Barber is a fourth-year senior forward on the UC San Diego women's soccer team, and San Diego native out of Mt. Carmel High School. Turner is a redshirt junior goalkeeper in the men's water polo program. Both are first-time honorees for their careers, as they each guided their top-five-ranked Tritons to national semifinal appearances.

Barber scored six goals over six postseason games and led UC San Diego to two more trophies en route to the semifinals of the 2018 NCAA Division II Championship in Pittsburgh, Pa. She started all six games as the Tritons went 4-1-1. Barber produced her first collegiate two-goal game in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament final at home on Nov. 4, earning Most Valuable Offensive Player distinction. She then notched her first hat trick in a 5-0 victory at West Texas A&M in the national quarterfinals on Nov. 18, accounting for the game-winning goal in both contests. In between, Barber provided the decisive try in the penalty-kick tiebreaker in the West Region final in Canyon, Texas, on Nov. 16, as UC San Diego procured a 4-1 advantage after playing to a scoreless draw with 16th-ranked rival Western Washington. She added one assist in the CCAA tourney semifinals to begin her month. The six goals increased her season total to a career-best 11. UC San Diego finished with a 19-3-2 overall record, and three trophies for the second consecutive year.

Turner compiled 68 saves and a 7.45 goals-against average in directing UC San Diego to a perfect 6-0 mark in November, and its first Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) crown since 2015. The product of Fremont in the Bay Area started the month with 14 saves in a 13-8 win at No. 14 Santa Clara on Nov. 1, and added 11 in a 10-8 road triumph over No. 9 UC Davis two days later as the Tritons snatched the top seed for the WWPA Championship away from the preseason favorite Aggies. In Fresno, Turner wrapped up the WWPA Championship with a 15-save effort in the title game, another narrow decision (11-10) over two-time reigning champion UC Davis. He was chosen Tournament MVP. The fifth-year Triton then procured 14 stops in an NCAA opening-round upset of No. 5 Long Beach State, 14-9, on Nov. 29 at Stanford. UC San Diego ultimately fell to top-ranked host Stanford in the semifinals on Dec. 1, reaching the 20-win mark for the first time in a decade since 2008, at 20-6.

Last Tuesday, UC San Diego took up the No. 3 position in the final United Soccer Coaches poll, its highest placement since finishing at No. 2 in 2012 as the national runner-up. The next day, the Tritons wound up at No. 5 in the last Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) listing.

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Each month, the San Diego Sports Association honors as many as four professional, six amateur and six high school athletes as Stars of the Month for their outstanding athletic accomplishments. Stars of the Month are recognized in the San Diego Union-Tribune, via the Fowler Family Awards Center at Petco Park, on the Sports Association's social media channels and website, and at San Diego's premier sports awards gala, Salute to the Champions, set for Jan. 31, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. They also receive a Breitbard Certificate of Athletic Achievement. Top-performing Stars of the Month can also earn Star of the Year accolades. Those considered are either from San Diego, or have achieved stardom for local teams.

Barber and Turner make it 12 Tritons named as a Star of the Month for the 2018 calendar year:
Mikayla Williams, women's basketball (January)
Tanner Syftestad, men's volleyball (January)
Alex Eliopulos, baseball (February)
Christian Bayne, men's basketball (February)
Ciara Franke, women's swimming and diving, women's water polo (March)
Robyn Wampler, softball (April)
Zander Clarke, baseball (May)
Jessica Rieble, women's volleyball (August)
Mary Reilly, women's soccer (September)
Natalie Saddic, women's soccer (October)
Megumi Barber, women's soccer (November)
Jack Turner, men's water polo (November)

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ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO SPORTS ASSOCIATION
The San Diego Sports Association is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating outstanding local athletic achievement and providing sports programming for the community. It was launched by the Breitbard Athletic Foundation, which was founded in 1946 by the legendary Bob Breitbard to recognize significant athletic achievement in San Diego. Through its awards and recognition programs, and vigilant focus on the community of San Diego and its betterment, the association is devoted to motivating and inspiring youth of all ages to reach their full potential. For more information, please visit www.sdhoc.com.

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.

Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Women's Soccer, follow on Instagram (@ucsdwsoc). For more information on UC San Diego Men's Water Polo, follow on Twitter (@UCSDTritonsMWP) and Instagram (@ucsdtritonsmwp).

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