June 6, 2014
GEORGE ALDERTON FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
(Presented to top female athlete of 2013-14)
WINNER: Allyssa Ferrell (Golf)
For all of the school records that Allyssa Ferrell established her senior season - and there were several - the moment that stands above the rest was her 9-foot putt on the final hole of the Big Ten Championships that secured Michigan State's third conference title in four years. Her clutch shot with everything riding on the line was one of the biggest moments in program history and placed MSU's senior class in rarified air.
"In 19 years of coaching, the putt that Allyssa made to win the Big Ten Championship was the best sports moment that I've ever seen in college women's golf," head women's golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said. "I think for a kid to be able to come up with the guts and the nerves to have to make that 9-footer on the last shot on the last day to win a Big Ten Championship was an amazing accomplishment."
The senior trio of Ferrell, Christine Meier and Liz Nagel not only helped lead the Spartans to three Big Ten Championships, but also four appearances in the NCAA Regionals and a school-record tying three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championships. The Spartans placed a school-record ninth at the NCAA Championships in 2013.
As for the records, Ferrell set new program lows for a single round (67), 54 holes (207) and 72 holes (283) during the 2013-14 season. She carded the lowest-ever score by a Spartan at the NCAA Championships (283) and became just the third player at MSU to place in the Top 10 at nationals. In addition, her score of 69 in both the first and second round at the NCAA Championships tied for the lowest single rounds in school history at the national tournament.
Ferrell had a record-setting two days at the Central District Invitational in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, in mid-February, carding a 9-under-par 207 (71-67-69) - the best 54-hole score ever at MSU - to win her first collegiate tournament and earn Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors. Her 5-under 67 in the second round of the CDI also tied a school single-round record. As a team, the Spartans shattered the previous 54-hole team record by 11 shots by compiling a 15-under 849.
The Edgerton, Wisconsin, native finished her senior year with a team-best 74.14 scoring average, which stands as the sixth lowest in an MSU single season. She also led the team with eight under-par rounds and tied for first with five Top-10 finishes. Ferrell placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships and was named to the All-Championships Team for the second consecutive year.
"I wasn't expecting this at all, so the news came as a complete surprise," said Ferrell. "Getting that phone call as a senior from coach about winning the Alderton Award meant a lot to me and was very exciting.
"One of the things I really wanted to do before I left Michigan State was leave a footprint that couldn't be erased. I feel like I accomplished a lot of things my senior year and I can walk away with no regrets and a big smile on my face. I want to thank coach, because a lot of this award goes to her as well.
"I think our team winning three Big Ten Championships in four years for me is really exciting," said Ferrell on what she's most proud of during her career. "That's one of the biggest team accomplishments you can achieve; not many people get to say that they did that. Personally, I always wanted to win a college tournament, and I captured that in February (at the Central District Invitational), so that was exciting as well. There were always highlights every year, but they kept getting better and bigger."
"I think Allyssa is very deserving of the Alderton Award and we're very proud to put another women's golfer on that trophy," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "I think one of the great stats about Allyssa is that when you look at her four-year career at Michigan State, she got better every year. She loves to play the game and has an incredibly tough mental state about her.
"She was very vocal about what she wanted to accomplish at Michigan State and was very driven to achieve those goals. She wanted to win four Big Ten titles and won three. She is an extremely driven young woman who has a passion for Michigan State and what we're trying to do with our golf program, which is to maintain our national prominence."
A two-time second-team All-Big Ten selection, Ferrell finished her career with the sixth-lowest scoring average (75.87) in school history. She collected 10 Top-10 finishes and 17 Top-20 finishes in her career. Ferrell also excelled in the classroom and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
2013-Caroline Powers (golf) and Beth Rohl (track and field); 2012-Laura Heyboer (soccer) and Caroline Powers (golf); 2011-Emily MacLeod (cross country/track) and Caroline Powers (golf); 2010-Floor Rijpma (field hockey); 2009-Nicole Bush (cross country/track & field); 2008-Sara Brown (golf); 2007-Sara Brown (golf); 2006-Liz Shimek (basketball); 2005-Kristin Haynie (basketball); 2004-Jamie Krzyminski (cross country/track & field); 2003-Michelle Carson (cross country) and Jamie Krzyminski (cross country/track & field); 2002-Emily Bastel (golf); 2001-Summer Mitchell (swimming & diving); 2000-Emily Bastel (golf); 1999-Carrie Carpenter (softball); 1998-Jill Lusher (field hockey); 1997-Sevatheda Fynes (track & field); 1996-Val Sterk (volleyball); 1995-Karen Winslow (soccer); 1994-Susan Francis (track & field); 1993-Jodi Blotcher (gymnastics); 1992-Misty Allison (cross country/track & field); 1991-Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse (swimming & diving); 1990-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1989-Julie Farrell (swimming & diving); 1988-Michelle Ingalls (gymnastics); 1987-Odessa Smalls (track & field); 1986-Mary Schoenle (swimming & diving); 1985-Kelly Becker (volleyball); 1984-Deanne Moore (softball); 1983-Judi Brown (track & field); 1982-Molly Brennan (track & field).