Feb. 2, 2007
BERKELEY - California named senior defender Steve Purdy its Bob DiGrazia award winner that honors the now professional player as the Golden Bears' MVP for its 2006 season, at its team banquet late last month. Junior forward Javier Ayala-Hil and Purdy, respectively, earned Offensive and Defensive MVP honors and midfielder Hector Jimenez was dubbed Cal's Freshman of the Year.
Purdy, Cal's top defender in 2006, recently signed a pro contract with 1860 Munich of the German Second Division. The Los Angeles Galaxy also drafted Purdy in the MLS Supplemental Draft. He also Cal's second-leading scorer, with 12 points (5 goals, 2 assists), and scored two gamewinning goals.
The team MVP award is named for the late Bob DiGrazia, Cal's decorated and longest-tenured soccer head coach who compiled a 202-133-39 record over 28 seasons (1953-80). DiGrazia led Cal to its first two NCAA tournament appearances, in 1960 and 1977.
The Bears also gave the Big C Award, presented to the player who typifies Cal spirit, to senior forward Matt Holtrust and gave Big C awards to freshmen players who earned their first letters at Cal: Jimenez, goalkeeper Stefan Frei, midfielder Ian Ebert, midfielder Evan Sassano, defender Josh Leon, midfielder Imaan Kerchgani, forward Chris Cortez and defender Kyle Rice.
Ayala-Hil led the Bears in scoring (26 points, 12 goals, 2 assists), goals and gamewinning goals (5). Like Purdy, Ayala-Hil started all 20 games for Cal.
Jimenez led all freshmen in scoring, with six points from a team-high six assists. He started 16 of 20 games.
Cal finished the 2006 season with a 13-6-1 record and its third overall appearance in the third round of the NCAA College Cup.