Salas Named 2011 Pac-10 Player Of The Year
June 15, 2011
USC senior Lizette Salas was named Pac-10 Player of the Year for the second time (and Troy's third in a row) while teammate Sophia Popov claimed the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year trophy, the conference announced Wednesday (June 15).
Both Trojan golfers earned 2011 NGCA All-American first team honors in May and were also on the All-Pac-10 first team as well. They helped guide USC to the No. 1 ranking for much of the past season. Troy won four events this year, including titles at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA West Regional. USC tied for fifth at the NCAA Championships.
Salas, USC's first-ever four-time All-American (two firsts, two seconds), led USC in stroke average in 2011 with a 71.87, the fourth-best season average in school history (she also owns the third-best). She had seven top 7 finishes this season and eight in the top 14. She was ranked as high as No. 2 this year. She tied for sixth at the 2011 Pac-10s and was second at the NCAA West Regional. Her 14 career rounds in the 60s is second-most ever at USC.
Popov, who last month was tabbed the NGCA Freshman of the Year, won three titles this year. She won at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships as well at the PING/ASU Invitational and the Pac-10/SEC Challenge. The wins were part of a streak of eight straight top 7 finishes heading into the 2011NCAAs, (the run also included a third at the NCAA West Regional). Popov, who like Salas was ranked as high as No. 2 this season, was second on the team in stroke average at 72.16, seventh-best in school history. She had a team-best seven rounds in the 60s.
USC 15th-year head coach Andrea Gaston, the 2011 NGCA Coach of the Year, has now produced four Pac-10 Players of the Year (Irene Cho, Jennifer Song and Salas twice) and three Pac-10 Freshmen of the Year (Salas, Song and Popov).