May 1, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After leading Michigan State to back-to-back Big Ten Championships, Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll has been named the Big Ten Women's Golf Coach of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon.
In addition, junior Caroline Powers was named to the All-Big Ten First Team for the second straight season, while red-shirt sophomore Liz Nagel and senior Lindsey Solberg garnered second-team accolades.
"It feels great, but it has everything to do with the players and nothing to do with me - I just happen to be the fortunate recipient that's at the other end," said Slobodnik-Stoll, who has now won Big Ten Coach of the Year honors three times (2001, 2007). "If it weren't for the players and their belief in our program and our system and what we've created at Michigan State, the award wouldn't be possible. I'm very thankful."
Currently in her 15th season at Michigan State, Slobodnik-Stoll has won four Big Ten Championships (2001, 2007, 2011, 2012) and has led the program to 14 straight appearances in the NCAA Regionals, dating back to 1999. Slobodnik-Stoll also has brought MSU to the NCAA Championships seven times in her career.
Powers leads the team with a 73.77 scoring average and is ranked 29th in the nation by Golfweek. The Bowling Green, Ohio, native has placed in the top 10 in six of MSU's 10 tournaments this season, including a victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational in September. Powers tied for third at the Big Ten Championships with a 2-over 218 and was named to the All-Championships Team for the second straight year. She currently owns the best career scoring average in Michigan State history with a 74.43 (Laura Kueny second at 74.60).
"For our program and what it says about what Michigan State golf is doing, it's a wonderful accomplishment for Caroline," said Slobodnik-Stoll. "She plays with such grace and style, and she represents the university in such a positive way. She is really just a wonderful young woman and we're very fortunate to have her as a Spartan."
This marks the third All-Big Ten recognition for Solberg. She was previously named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as a freshman in 2009 and also as a junior in 2011. Solberg tied for third at the Big Ten Championships and is second on the team with a career-best 75.73 scoring average. For her career-best showing at the Big Ten Championships, she garnered all-tournament team honors for the second consecutive season.
"I'm so happy for Lindsey," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "She is a wonderful representative of Michigan State. She definitely is our competitor on the team - they're all competitive, but Lindsey kind of takes it to another level. We're definitely going to miss her. She's accomplished so much, and she's going to carry on the Michigan State name wherever she goes."
Nagel has been one of the team's most consistent golfers down the stretch, placing in the top 20 in three of her last four tournaments. Playing in her first career Big Ten Championships, Nagel tied for 18th with a 228. The DeWitt, Mich., native is third on the Spartans with a 75.86 average in seven tournaments. She placed a career-best fourth at the Lady Buckeye Invitational on April 22 and carded a career-low 54-hole score of 216 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
"I think this is a great thing for Liz because she's been working so hard for a couple of years and finally all of the puzzle pieces got put together this spring," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "She played well enough to jump right up there into that (second team) category - that is certainly a wonderful honor for her and the program. We're very proud of her, not only for now, but for our future with her on the team."
The No. 21 Michigan State women's golf team returns to action May 10-12 (Thursday-Saturday) for the NCAA East Regional in State College, Pa.
2012 BIG TEN WOMEN'S GOLF ALL-CONFERENCE AND INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
First Team Caroline Powers, Michigan State
Madeleine Sheils, Nebraska
Amy Meier, Ohio State
Rachel Rohanna, Ohio State
Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, Purdue
Paula Reto, Purdue
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Laura Gonzalez-Escallon, Purdue
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Kendall Prince, Ohio State
COACH OF THE YEAR
Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, Michigan State