Nov. 2, 2011
BERKELEY - Sophomore forward Andrea Earle was named the NorPac West Offensive Player of the Year and was also tabbed as the NorPac West co-Player of the Year at the NorPac Tournament banquet, held Wednesday night in Palo Alto. Earle was one of four players to be named to the All-Conference team. Freshman forward Lara Kruggelearned All-Conference honors and was tabbed as the NorPac West Freshman of the Year.
Cal had four players named to the NorPac West All-Conference team. In addition to Earle and Kruggel, senior defender Erin Magill and sophomore midfielder Shannon Elmittalso earned All-Conference honors.
Earle had a breakout season, transforming the Bears into one of the top-10 offenses in the nation (currently ranked No. 8 in goals per game with a conference-best mark of 3.68 per game). Earle, who leads the Conference in goals per game (.94, 16th in the NCAA) and points per game (2.19, 19th NCAA), has been the spark plug igniting the Cal offense all season. She has been named the NorPac West Offensive Player of the Week three times this season, more than any other player in the Conference.
"Andrea is an offensive weapon as her stats show," said head coach Shellie Onstead. "In addition, she has scored a number of goals in clutch situations when we are tied or behind. She is also splitting time with five other Cal forwards while ranking as high nationally as forwards that play 70 minutes per game."
Earle shares the Player of the Year honors with Stanford's Becky Dru, who earned the Defensive Player of the Year award.
This is Earle's first time being named to the All-Conference team and likewise her first Offensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year honors. Earle is the 12th player since 1982 to be named the NorPac Player of the Year. The last player to earn the honor was Valentina Godfrid in 2006. Earle is the fifth Cal player to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors. Natalie Nurnberg last won the honor two years ago.
Kruggel, a two-time NorPac West Newcomer of the Week, tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals this season, including the game-winner in overtime against Virginia. She scored seven goals with seven assists while putting pressure on opposing defenses with 41 shots this season, second-highest total on the team. Kruggel had four assists in Cal's NorPac opener against Pacific, a total which is tied for the most assists in a single game this season in NCAA Division I.
"Lara shows her strength with equal assists (7) to goals (7) and 41 shots, the majority of which are from the field of play, no corners," said Onstead. "She has exceptional vision while in possession and is difficult to dispossess. She is one of the best freshmen in Division I."
Kruggel is the third Cal freshman to earn the Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year award. Nora Feddersen in 2000 and Lieke Zoete in 1999 are the only other Bears to be given the honor. Kruggel was selected as the top freshman in the conference from contenders from both the east and west divisions.
Elmitt, one of the team's captains, earned her first NorPac All-Conference honors. As a midfielder, Shannon Elmittdoesn't have many scoring opportunities, taking just 18 shots this season, but the midfielder is all over the ball. If tackles were stats that were tabulated, Elmitt would be among the elite in this conference. Her one goal of the season was the game-winner against Pacific. She has seven assists this season, including setting up the game-winning goal in overtime in the regular-season finale at Davis.
Magill, also a team captain, has been the workhorse of the team, compiling a team-high 1,114 minutes on the pitch this season, almost 100 full minutes more than her closest teammate. The defensive wall in the back has helped lead the Bears to three shutouts and five victories over ranked teams. In addition, Magill has provided a spark of offense, with four goals (including three game-winners, including against then-ranked No. 13 Michigan State in overtime) and four assists this season.
This is the second All-Conference honor for Magill. She was also named to the 2009 team.
The Bears open the NorPac Conference tournament on Thursday, Nov. 3 when they take on Radford at 6:30 p.m. at Stanford. The tournament, which will determine the conference's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament, runs through Saturday, Nov. 5.
NorPac West All-Conference: Stephanie Byrne (Stanford), Becky Dru (Stanford), Andrea Earle (Cal), Shannon Elmitt (Cal), Lara Kruggel (Cal), Erin Magill(Cal), Alex McCawley (Stanford), Amanda Spellman (Pacific), Emily Tregoning (Pacific), Casey Wollbrinck (UC Davis), Ale Moss (Stanford), Ashlee Schelsier (Pacific)
Co-Player of the Year: Becky Dru (Stanford) and Andrea Earle(Cal)
Offensive Player of the Year: Andrea Earle(Cal)
Defensive Player of the Year: Becky Dru (Stanford)
Coach of the Year: Tara Danielson (Stanford)
Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year: Lara Kruggel(Cal)
Julie Nagel Extraordinary Teammate Award: Maddie Malony (UC Davis)
Sheryl Johnson Academic Award: Christine Rua (Davidson), Sarah Schneider (UC Davis)