Aggies' quartet earns All-Big West honors

Nov. 1, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis trio of juniors Alexis Smith and Kristie Braken-Guelke, along with freshman Mahlah Catline, were named to the second team, while senior Mandy McKeegan earned honorable mention honors according to a vote of the league's head coaches, as the Big West Conference released its postseason honor roll on Wednesday afternoon.

The three players selected to the second team are a school record, while the four selections overall are one shy of last year's five honorees. Meanwhile, Catline was also named to the Big West All-Freshman Team, becoming the fifth different Aggie to earn the honor since the league instituted that award in 2014, joining teammates Sydney Burger (2014), Crystal Crump (2015), Smith (2015), and Roisin Allaeddini (2016).

Already a two-time All-Big West honorable mention selection, Smith was named to the second team on Wednesday following a record-setting junior season. The materials science and engineering major from San Jose, Calif., set the school record with 19 career shutouts in 2017 and moved into a tie for fourth place on the all-time list with 205 career saves, matching Kelly Parker (1997-00) for the spot. Her 84 saves this season are a single-season career high and were the most for an Aggie keeper since Taylor Jern finished with 85 in 2013.

Smith finished the regular season ranked second in the Big West in saves, saves per game (5.25), and save percentage (.808), while standing tied for sixth in shutouts (three), and seventh in goals against average (1.20).

With their selections to the second team, Braken-Guelke and Catline each earned their first career all-conference honors. A biological sciences major from Los Gatos, Calif., Braken-Guelke helped solidify a defense that allowed just eight goals and post a 0.95 goals against average in Big West Conference play. At the other end of the field, Catline, an undeclared major from Reading, England, finished with a team-best four goals -- including the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Cal Poly on Oct. 5 -- and ranked 10th in the league at 0.27 goals per game.

A two-time Big West All-Academic Team selection, McKeegan picked up her first career All-Big West honor with her spot on the honorable mention squad, leading the team with 10 points on three goals and four assists. The neurobiology, physiology, and behavior major from Manhattan Beach, Calif., scored a pair of game-winners, scoring in overtime to sink San Francisco on Sept. 1, and netting the go-ahead goal in the closing moments of a 1-0 shutout at league champion UC Irvine on Oct. 12 on the road.

Her four assists were good for a tie for seventh on the Big West's lists at the end of the regular season, while her 0.22 assists per game ranked in a tie for ninth.

UC Davis finished the 2017 campaign with a 4-12-2 overall record, but the Aggies were in the thick of the race for a spot in the Big West Tournament right up to the final weekend, standing as the last program to be unbeaten in conference play before finishing 3-3-2 in league action -- good for a fifth-place tie. The 11 points in the Big West standings matched last year's total, and were the most since the Aggies finished tied for third in 2011 with 13 points.

Offensive Player of the Year: Noel Baham (UC Irvine)
Midfielders of the Year: Kiana Palacios (UC Irvine)
Defensive Player of the Year: Kaitlin Fregulia (Long Beach State)
Co-Goalkeepers of the Year: Morgan Bertsch (Cal State Fullerton) & Jovani McCaskill (CSUN)
Freshman of the Year: Sydney Carr (UC Irvine)
Coach of the Year: Scott Juniper (UC Irvine)

Noel Baham, Forward, UC Irvine
Amanda Ball, Forward, UC Santa Barbara
Sonest Furtado, Forward, Hawai'i
Sarah Fajnor, Forward, Cal State Fullerton
Kiana Palacios, Midfielder, UC Irvine
Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Midfielder, Hawai'i
Grayson Galbraith, Midfielder, UC Irvine
Chace Schornstein, Midfielder, UC Santa Barbara
Kaitlin Fregulia, Defender, Long Beach State
Andrea Mensen, Defender, UC Irvine
Nano Oronoz, Defender, Cal State Fullerton
Lindsay Kutscher, Defender, CSUN
Jovani McCaskill, Goalkeeper, CSUN
Morgan Bertsch, Goalkeeper, Cal State Fullerton

Cynthia Sanchez, Forward, CSUN
Katie Pingel, Forward, Long Beach State
Mahlah Catline, Forward, UC Davis
Sydney Carr, Forward, UC Irvine
Marissa Favela, Midfielder, CSUN
Megan Abutin, Midfielder, Cal Poly
Samantha Koemans, Midfielder, Cal State Fullerton
Kristie Braken-Guelke, Defender, UC Davis
Chelsea Barry, Defender, Cal Poly
Amanda Roy, Defender, UC Riverside
Alexis Smith, Goalkeeper, UC Davis

Atlanta Primus, Forward, Cal State Fullerton
Tori Bolden, Forward, Long Beach State
Ashley Webb, Forward, UC Riverside
Mandy McKeegan, Midfielder, UC Davis
Kaycee Hoover, Midfielder, Cal State Fullerton
Connie Caliz, Midfielder, Cal State Fullerton
Dana Fujikuni, Midfielder, Long Beach State
Tala Haddad, Defender, Cal State Fullerton
Kyra Taylor, Defender, UC Riverside
Christina Nixon, Defender, CSUN
Maddie Newsom, Goalkeeper, UC Irvine

Sydney Carr, Forward, UC Irvine
Mahlah Catline, Forward, UC Davis
Claire Grouwinkel, Forward, UC Irvine
Georgina Stiegeler, Forward, Cal Poly
Christine Maurer, Midfielder, UC Santa Barbara
Miah Conde, Midfielder, UC Riverside
Samantha McKenna, Forward, Cal State Fullerton
Rola Badawiya, Forward, Long Beach State
Amy Aquino, Defender, CSUN
Leialoha Medeiros, Midfielder/Forward, Hawai'i
Sarah Pilster, Defender, Long Beach State

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

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