July 2, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Five Western Carolina women's golfers were named All-American Scholars as the Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) announced its teams on Wednesday. Sophomores Taylor Allison and Mariah Hopkins, as well as freshmen Bethany Galloway, Olivia Landino and Ashley Thompson were among those honored by the WGCA.
It is the 14th-consecutive year that Western Carolina has put golfers among the annual honorees and the 12th-consecutive year of multiple selections. The five selections match the most by the Catamount program, equaling the five recipients following play in 2011-12.
All five of WCU's honorees were named to the 2013-14 Southern Conference Honor Roll with both Allison and Hopkins selected to the 2014 SoCon Spring Academic All-Conference team.
Taylor Allison is the 11th different Catamount women's golfer to earn the WGCA All-American Scholar honor in multiple seasons, and is among WCU's six, two-time recipients. She led WCU in scoring in three events last year, finishing second on the squad in overall scoring average at 76.37 - 12th in the conference. The Elizabeth City, N.C., product became just the third player in the 15-year history of the Great Smokies Intercollegiate to win both back-to-back tournament titles and claim individual medalist honors more than once.
Mariah Hopkins closed the 2013-14 season very strong, pacing the Catamounts at the SoCon Championship at the Moss Creek Golf Club with a fourth-place tie individually. The Greensboro, N.C., native was fifth on the WCU team in scoring average and ranked 26th overall in the conference at 78.47.
Olivia Landino finished fourth on the Catamount squad in scoring average at 77.97, earning SoCon All-Freshman team plaudits following the conference championship. A native of Hermitage, Pa., Landino ranked 24th in the league in stroke average. She turned in a pair of top 10 finishes including a career-best sixth-place tie at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate in late March.
Ashley Thompson played in eight events in her freshman season - four as an individual and four as a part of the scoring five. Her classmate from Charlotte, N.C., Bethany Galloway, saw action in seven events as a frosh, playing in six tournaments as an individual competitor. Thompson, a local product from Clyde, N.C., recorded a career-best finish of 26th twice in 2013-14 while Galloway turned in a career finish at the Low Country Intercollegiate in the spring semester, placing in a tie for 35th overall.
Combined, 12 women's golfers from the SoCon were honored, led by the five from Western Carolina. Elon had three on the list with both Furman and Wofford putting two apiece on the honorary squad. SoCon-newcomer, Mercer, had one women's golfer recognized.
The criteria for selection to the WGCA All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) is set at 3.50. All told, a total of 664 women's collegiate golfers were recognized in 2014 with the prestigious honor.
The Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), formerly known as the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA), began in 1983 as an organization to promote participation in women's collegiate golf. The vision of the WGCA since its inception has been to encourage the playing of intercollegiate golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents the finest coaches in women's golf with a membership of over 550 coaches of Division I, II& III, NAIA and NJCAA collegiate programs.
Western Carolina's All-Time WCGA All-American Scholars
2000-01 - Shelley Glenister
2001-02 - Brook Stillman
2002-03 - Line Cordes, Ashley Hovda, Johanna Lundberg, Brandy Andersen
2003-04 - Brandy Andersen, Erika Danford, Ashley Hovda, Bianca Melone
2004-05 - Brandy Andersen, Bianca Melone
2005-06 - Brandy Andersen, Erika Danford, Malin Fryk, Bianca Melone
2006-07 - Bianca Melone, Malin Fryk, Elin Mickelsson
2007-08 - Katja Dammann, Elin Mickelsson
2008-09 - Elin Mickelsson, Rachel Nelson
2009-10 - Malin Jansson, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson
2010-11 - Malin Jansson, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson
2011-12 - Christina Amoriello, Katie Kile, Maria Kjelldorff, Blaire Minter, Rachel Nelson
2012-13 - Taylor Allison, Maria Kjelldorff
2013-14 - Taylor Allison, Bethany Galloway, Mariah Hopkins, Olivia Landino, Ashley Thompson