Best Male Athlete: Danny Susdorf – Track & Field
Graduating baseball captain Danny Susdorf sustained his excellence in the Triton’s 2013 campaign, and he will leave UCSD with another accomplishment to his name: Guardian Best Male Athlete of 2013.
The All-California Collegiate Athletics Association First Team and Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-West Region First Team centerfielder concluded his senior season leading his team in multiple statistics, including batting average (.343), runs (48), hits (68), triples (4) and on-base percentage (.420). He led the entire CCAA conference in steals (29) for a second consecutive year.The two-time Tino Martinez Division II Award (for best Division-II player) candidate appeared in all 50 games for the Tritons this year and had a 10-game hit streak from March 16 to April 6.
Best Female Athlete: Sarah Lizotte – Water Polo
Women’s water polo co-captain, junior Sarah Lizotte, helped her team complete its most successful season in UCSD history during the 2013 campaign. Lizotte was named the Western Water Polo Association Player of the Year and made the All-WWPA First Team. She performed well at the NCAA championship tournament and was selected for the All-Tournament Second Team. She was selected as UCSD’s Athlete of the Week three times.
Lizotte led her team with 92 goals scored and finished tied for team leader in assists, with 67. The junior was second on the team with 54 steals and scored multiple goals in 26 games this season.
Best Breakout Athlete: Nash Howe – Track & Field
Sophomore javelin phenom Nash Howe spent the majority of his freshman season eclipsed by the performance of older brother Nick Howe ’12. Competing in the same event, Nick Howe placed just ahead of his younger sibling to take the CCAA title and earn the automatic qualifier.
This season, Nash took the mantle over for his brother, earning the CCAA championship as well as a spot at the national championships. Howe went in ranked No. 5 in the nation, and after four disappointing throws to start, Howe rocketed one to earn seventh place as well as All-American honors.
Outstanding Team: Women’s Soccer
The UCSD women’s soccer team began its 2012 season with some big holes to fill in its roster, having graduated both its top goal-scorer, Sarah McTigue, as well as two-time All-American goalkeeper Kristin Armstrong. For the fourth straight season, UCSD was picked to win the conference, but few would predict that the Tritons would make another appearance at the NCAA title game.
For the second time in two years, UCSD came up just short at Nationals, losing in the championship game, but it was the fashion in which they got there that puts this team in a category by itself. After finishing third in the conference, the Tritons won the CCAA tournament on penalty kicks to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA. From there, UCSD won four of its next six games in golden goal situations before falling to No. 2 University of West Florida 1–0.
The Tritons end their season with a 17-3-4 overall record, with six Tritons and two All-Americans, senior defender Ellen Wilson and junior Cassie Callahan.
Best Game: Men’s Basketball (First round, CCCA Tournament)
Playing in their first CCAA tournament game since 2009, the Tritons traded scoring runs and the lead for most of their first-round matchup with Cal State San Bernardino. While the Tritons ultimately lost 102–99 in three overtime periods to the second-seeded Coyotes, the game, which was the longest of the season, was demonstrative of a season that showed drastic improvement for the team. Head coach Chris Carlson’s men’s team was picked to finish in 11th, but it took seventh in the conference and had four (but almost six) men score double figures in the season finale, proving that the team was well capable of exceeding expectations.
Best Championship Performance: Dane Stassi – Swimming & Diving
The sophomore wins the best championship performance category by posting a dominant showing at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Division II Championship. Stassi won the 200-meter butterfly event and set a new school record, beating his own previously set mark. Stassi swam a 1:45.12 and pulled away to beat the second-place finisher by over two seconds.
Stassi was a heavy favorite going into the event. He held the only NCAA automatic qualifying time in the event, posting an entry time two seconds faster than any other competitor, and he delivered by blazing through the back half of the race. Stassi swam in multiple events at the championships, including touching seventh in the 100-meter butterfly.
Best Coach: Brad Kreutzkamp – Water Polo
In his fourth season at the helm, UCSD women’s water polo head coach Brad Kreutzkamp took his team further in the NCAA Tournament than any of his predecessors. Starting the season having graduated five of his seven starters, the 2013 season, by and large, could have been dismissed as a rebuilding year. But the Tritons certainly exceeded expectations. UCSD finished the season with a 26–15 overall record and a perfect 7–0 conference record. The UCSD women’s water polo team won the Western Water Polo Association regular season title as well as the tournament championship to earn a bid to the national tournament.
The Tritons went into the NCAA tournament with the No. 6 seed and ended the tournament in fifth place, the highest finish UCSD has seen in program history.
Most Outstanding Freshman: Troy Cruz – Baseball
San Diego native Troy Cruz had an outstanding freshman year for the Tritons, selected as the CCAA Freshman of the Year. In addition to being named Freshman of the Year, Cruz was voted onto the All-CCAA First Team.
Cruz batted .286 for UCSD, with 18 runs scored and 13 runs batted in. Not only did the freshman standout start 29 times at second base for his team — he also picked up three saves as a relief pitcher. Even more impressive, Cruz joined the starting rotation on March 16 and won his first five starts, pitching 16.2 scoreless innings over his first three games.
Best Graduating Senior: Daisy Feder – Basketball
The CCAA’s Player of the Year takes the cake on this one. Fifth-year senior Daisy Feder earns best departing athlete for her season, which capped an illustrious Triton career.
A recent inductee to the 1,000-point club, Feder led the Tritons in scoring for most of this year — averaging 18.3 points per game. Feder also earned spots on the All-CCAA First Team and All-Tournament Team, in addition to off-the-court efforts that merited Capital One Academic All-District honors. Feder was instrumental in leading the team to back-to-back NCAA tournament, which berthed a 17–5 conference record.