Nov. 9, 2011
BERKELEY - Four members of the California women's soccer team were honored by the Pac-12 Conference, Commissioner Larry Scott announced on Wednesday. Senior defender Danielle Brunache and junior midfielder Betsy Hassett earned Second Team honors, while junior forward Lauren Battung and sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick where honorable mention selections.
The Golden Bears, who completed the regular season 12-6-2 overall and finished sixth in the Pac-12 Conference with a 5-4-2 league mark, earned their eighth-straight NCAA Championship berth on Monday. Cal will travel to Santa Clara for a first-round matchup with the Broncos on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"We are all very pleased for each of the girls," said Cal head coach Neil McGuire. "Individually, they have played very well all season and collectively they have worked hard to take our team to the NCAA tournament. They are great players but even better people."
Brunache, the Bears' senior co-captain, has been one of Cal's top defensive stalwarts the entire season. She has started all 20 games in 2011 and has played the entire match in 15 contests. In all, the senior has started every match over the past three seasons, anchoring Cal's defensive line. Brunache has guided a defense that has posted nine shutouts on the season. She anchored a defensive line that held then-No. 2 UCLA scoreless for the first time in the Bruins' first 12 matches of the year. The senior has two goals and two assists in 2011, recording a goal and an assist in Cal's victory over Kent State and assisting on the Bears' first goal against San Diego State. In her final home game at Edwards Stadium, Brunache capped her Senior Day with a goal off a penalty kick to help guide Cal to victory over Utah. She has competed in more than 80 career matches with more than 75 career starts as a Golden Bear. The second-team selection is the first athletic recognition for the senior, who is a two-time member of the All-Pac-12 academic squad.
Hassett has started 16 of Cal's 20 games in 2011 as an active piece in the Bears' midfield attack. She owns three assists on the year, contributing to goals against North Dakota State, Utah and Oregon. The junior is third on the team in total shots with 34 and ranks second on the Bears' roster with 18 shots on-goal. The second-team selection is the first athletic recognition by the conference for Hassett, who earned All-Pac-12 academic accolades as a sophomore in 2010.
Battung, who was also an honorable mention selection as a sophomore in 2010, was honored by the Pac-12 for the second straight season. The forward is Cal's second-leading scorer with seven goals and one assist in 2011. One of Cal's top scoring threats, Battung's seven goals on the season are tied for ninth-best in the Pac-12 Conference. She has registered a team-high 49 shots and a team-best 24 shots on-goal. Her shot total ranks seventh in the league. The junior has started 14 of the 19 matches she has played in, missing the Arizona contest due to injury. Battung scored a goal in the first two matches of the season against Pepperdine and San Diego State en route to California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honors. She recorded a goal in four-straight contests in wins over Kent State, Denver, Long Beach State and San Francisco, providing the game-winning score in the latter three. The forward's seventh goal of the season came in a victory at Oregon. Battung's lone assist on the year came in a 7-0 victory over North Dakota State.
Fitzpatrick, who was a member of the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team last season, completed the regular season with a team-high seven assists to go with three goals. The midfielder's assist total is tied for fourth-best in the league. Her 13 points on the season rank third on the Bears' roster. Fitzpatrick garnered California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honors earlier this season after scoring three goals and assisting on a fourth in the Bears' victory over Oregon. Fitzpatrick's 44 shots are second-most on the team, while her 14 shots on-goal rank third. She recorded her first two assists of the fall against Kent State, while also setting up California goals against Denver and San Francisco. In Pac-12 play, Fitzpatrick owns assists at Washington and against USC to go along with her most recent assist on Battung's goal against the Ducks.
Cal had four representatives among the first and second teams and honorable mention selections for the second time in the last three seasons. In 2009, Alex Morgan (first team), Katie Oakes (second team), Katrin Omarsdottir (honorable mention) and Brianna Bak (honorable mention) earned all-conference selections.