Last fall, Turlock native Marcus DeCouto reminded the sports scene that UC Merced consistently brings some of the top freshmen to the California Pacific Conference.
DeCouto, now a sophomore midfielder on the Bobcats’ men’s soccer team, became the first Cal Pac player since 2015 to record at least 10 goals and 10 assists in a single season. To little surprise, he was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
The freshman phenom became the ninth Cal Pac Freshman of the Year in school history, joining other past Bobcat recipients such as Shelby Howard and current National Premier Soccer League player Cody Golbad.
Since UC Merced established its athletic program in 2011, only Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (AZ) has received more Cal Pac Freshman of the Year honors than UC Merced.