Nov. 15, 2011
BERKELEY - California midfielder Seth Casiple capped a stellar debut season by earning the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Award, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced on Tuesday. In addition, Golden Bear junior defender Steve Birnbaum claimed a spot on the all-conference first team, junior midfielder Tony Salciccia earned a second-team berth and three Bears, including Casiple, picked up honorable-mention honors.
This marks Cal's first Pac-12 or Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award.
A product of Rocklin, Calif., Casiple led Cal and ranked among the conference leaders in assists most of the season, winding up with six assists to go along with one goal, and started all 17 games. He finished the regular season ranked fourth in total assists and fourth in assists per game (0.35) in the Pac-12.
"Seth had a fantastic season both statistically and with his overall impact in games," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "It is a great honor for Seth and the program."
Birnbaum and Salciccia were Cal's co-captains this year and led a young squad that featured 10 true freshmen and four redshirt freshmen. A central defender, Birnbaum marshaled a revamped defense and scored the second goal of his career this season - converting a penalty kick at Oregon State on Oct. 21. The Irvine, Calif., native also scored his only other Cal goal against the Beavers in 2010.
Salciccia, from San Jose, Calif., collected two goals, one assist and five points and started all 17 games as a midfield workhorse for the Bears. He scored one goal in Cal's 1-1 tie with Lehigh on Sept. 9 in the Cal Legacy Classic and another in the Bears' 3-0 victory over Vermont on Sept. 23 in the Stanford Invitational.
Fitzpatrick led Cal in goals (5) and points (11) and also posted one assist and one game-winning goal. He bagged that winner in the 1-0 nonconference victory in the Aug. 26 season opener at San Francisco. Fitzpatrick scored other key goals, including one in a 3-2 win over Kentucky on Sept. 11 in the Cal Legacy Classic and one on Oct. 9 in a 1-1 tie at Stanford. The Encinitas, Calif., product started all 15 games in which he played.
Hallisey was another important freshman member of the Cal squad this season, starting 11 and playing in all 17 games this year. A native of Granite Bay, Calif., Hallisey posted one goal, two assists and four assists.
Cal's 2011 Pac-12 Conference Men's Soccer Honorees
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year - Seth Casiple, midfielder
All-Pac-12 First Team Selection - Steve Birnbaum, junior defender
All-Pac-12 Second Team Selection - Tony Salciccia, junior midfielder