Three Coyotes earned California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference honors after bringing their soccer season to a close.
From women’s soccer, Rachael Figg was named All-CCAA first-team. On men’s soccer, Tony Lo and Danny Ortiz were awarded All-CCAA second-team honors.
All-CCAA awards are prestigious because it means that these players were selected by coaches as some of the best players in the conference.
“To be recognized for something you worked hard to succeed at is such an honor,” said Figg. “I feel incredibly thankful to my coaches, teammates and family for always pushing me to new limits.”
Last year, Figg earned CCAA Newcomer of the Year, All-CCAA first-team and third-team for NSCAA All-West Region.
“If it weren’t for those who continuously believed in me, I don’t think I would have had the same success,” said Figg.
Figg was the starting forward for the Coyotes this season, scoring a total of six goals. Her stats were the highest of the team with 35 shots and 24 shots on goal.
She scored two goals against California Baptist University, and one goal each in the games against Central Washington, Monterey Bay, East Bay and Humboldt State.
Like most talented players, Figg started playing soccer when she was only four–years–old. She is now a senior who just played out her last competitive season.
“I love soccer with all my heart and it genuinely hurts to know that I’ll never play another competitive game,” said Figg. “This is by far the hardest thing for me to move on from.”
This season, she faced the challenge and frustration of being injured in the latter half of the season, but still managed to do what she could to contribute to the team’s success.
Honorable mentions for the women’s team were goalkeeper Destiny Collins, Nicki Argentieri, Alyssa Campa and Bianca Scodellaro.
With Collins in goal, Argenteri, Campa and Scodellaro made up the starting defensive line for the team.
For the men’s team, in their 3-1 victory against Humboldt State University, it was apparent that Lo and Ortiz were key players in the team’s attacking play. In that game, Lo scored two goals and Ortiz put away a penalty kick, helping the team secure the win over the Lumberjacks.
Lo has been playing soccer for 13 years and is now a senior who just played out his last season here at CSUSB.
“It’s sad my time as a ‘Yotie is done after been given so much here at this school,” said Lo.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, he came to California to take advantage of the opportunity to study and play soccer.
“It was tough picking between a school here or back home, but I am thankful that the U.S. has a system in place to accommodate people like me who want options,” said Lo.
Lo also earned second-team in 2015.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for the hard work I put in before and during the season,” said Lo. “But I honestly owe it to my teammates for giving me the opportunity to be successful and stand out.”
Lo scored five goals this season. He also scored the game-winning goal against Sonoma State University, a conference game that was vital to their chances of making it to post-season play.
Ortiz proved to be a crucial player to the team’s offensive attack, leading the team stats with a total of six goals throughout the season.
Originally from Mexico, Ortiz came to California to keep growing athletically and academically. He also wanted to learn another language and set himself up for new and more challenging goals.
“Getting second-team means I must’ve done something right during the season,” said Ortiz. “At the same time, it means I wasn’t good enough to get first-team. I need to work harder to achieve that next year.”
Although faced with the challenge of not being cleared to play early on in the season due to paperwork, Ortiz still managed to make a difference as soon as he was able to step on the field.
Ortiz will play another season for the Coyotes next year and continue to be an impact player as his tough mentality does not allow him to underachieve.
Kevin Aguilar was a noted honorable mention, leading the team with five assists. Aguilar scored a total of four goals, which were against Montana State University Billings, Monterey Bay, San Marcos and Stanislaus State.
After a season of hard work, the Coyotes received the honors they deserved.