Photo by: Justin Berl
Natalie Saddic (left) and Summer Bales are first-time United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Americans.

Natalie Saddic and Summer Bales Named United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Americans

UC San Diego

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - University of California San Diego co-captains Summer Bales and Natalie Saddic, both already 2018 All-Americans athletically, were announced Monday as United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Americans for the NCAA Division II.

Saddic (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS), a redshirt junior, was one of two defenders on the 13-player Scholar All-America First Team, with fourth-year senior Bales (Temecula/Great Oak HS) among three midfielders on the 12-player second team.

Both Tritons had earlier Monday been chosen to the 12-player United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-West Region First Team. Bales was a repeat honoree, as a regional second-team selection as a junior in 2017. It marks a third year in a row that UC San Diego has put two student-athletes on scholar all-region squads.

Both Bales and Saddic started all 24 games as UC San Diego finished 19-3-2 overall and with three trophies to its credit for a second successive season. The Tritons won their fourth straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament title after a third consecutive CCAA regular-season crown. They went on to repeat as champions of the West Region, before falling to eventual national champion University of Bridgeport (CT), 2-0, in the semifinals in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Nov. 29.

Saddic has a 3.64 grade-point average in biochemistry and cell biology. She anchored the defense for the entirety or most of 12 shutouts, with the Tritons finishing first in the CCAA, third in the West Region and 14th nationally with a 0.573 team goals-against average. As if that weren’t enough, Saddic contributed offensively to the tune of two goals and a career-best five assists, which put her in a tie for second in the league table behind only Bales. She was fifth on the team chart with nine total points. Saddic was on the field for 2145 of 2200 minutes.

Bales maintains a 3.70 GPA while majoring in international studies-political science, with an international migration studies minor. She will graduate in June. Bales started every match on the left side of midfield, and led the CCAA for the second year in a row with a career-best 10 assists, the last of which came on the game-winner in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 18 in Texas. Bales then added her second goal of the campaign to make it 2-0 early in that contest.

Athletically, both Tritons were All-America, unanimous All-West Region First Team, All-CCAA First Team and CCAA All-Tournament Team selections. Saddic was the repeat CCAA Defensive Player of the Year and CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Defensive Player.

UC San Diego wound up with a final national ranking of No. 3 in the last United Soccer Coaches poll, released on Dec. 4.

Student-athletes receiving scholar honors from the United Soccer Coaches meet the criteria of a 3.30 cumulative GPA, starting in more than 50 percent of all games and significantly contributing to their team, being nominated by the head coach of a current United Soccer Coaches College Services member institution, and being a junior or above in athletic standing. Transfer students must be in their second year at the school.

The only other Scholar All-American from the CCAA was Chico State senior defender Jamie Ikeda, who made the third team.

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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