Dec. 3, 2010
AKRON, Ohio - California senior defender A.J. Soares earned his latest accolade on Dec. 2 - Goal.com Player of the Year. The Golden Bears' co-captain is also the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy. Soares also claimed a spot on the Goal.com first team, while Cal junior goalkeeper David Bingham and senior forward Davis Paul are on the Goal.com second team.
A native of Solana Beach, Calif., Soares has claimed two berths on the All-Pac-10 first team in his career. He is the anchor of a stingy Cal defense that allowed just 13 goals during the regular season and only one in the team's two postseason games thus far. He was also a key contributor on the offensive end this season, posting career highs in points (11) and goals (5).
Bingham has been impressive in goal, posting a 0.67 goals-against average and .897 save percentage as Cal's only goalkeeper to play this season. His save percentage ranks second-best nationally and his GAA ranks 12th. Bingham played an outstanding game in the NCAA Tournament's third round against Brown on Nov. 28 in Berkeley, where he made nine saves to earn his eighth shutout of the year in a 2-0 win over the Bears. His 12 career shutouts rank him ninth on Cal's all-time list.
Paul has had a standout season as the leader of the Cal attack. He is the school record holder in single-season assists (14) and paces the Bears with career highs in assists, goals (8), points (30) and game-winning goals (5). Paul also ranks fourth on Cal's career assists list with 21. Nationally, he ranks fourth in assists, fourth in assists per game (0.74), 13th in total points and 16th in points per game (1.58). His corner kick set up sophomore forward John Fitzpatrick for the game-winning goal against Brown.
Sixth-seeded and sixth-ranked Cal, this season's Pac-10 champion, will play host, Mid-American Conference champion, third-seeded and second-ranked Akron in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal round on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m. PT.