Freshman Frida Gustafsson Spang
May 2, 2013
IRVING, Texas - East Carolina freshman Frida Gustafsson Spang became the first golfer in Conference USA Women's history to be named both the Player and Freshman-of-the-Year in the same season the league announced Thursday afternoon.
Joining Spang as all-conference selections for the Pirates are fellow classmate Nicoline Engstroem Skaug (second-team) and junior Fanny Wolte (third-team). For Wolte it is the third-straight season she has garnered post-season honors.
Fifteen student-athletes have been recognized on the 2013 C-USA Women's Golf All-Conference teams by a vote of the league's head coaches. SMU's Melanie White and Tulsa's Shu-Yin Liu shared the inaugural Most Improved Golfer-of-the-Year award while Tulane's Andrew Pratt was named C-USA Coach-of-the-Year.
Spang is the second Pirate to be named Player-of-the-Year, joining two-time winner Abby Bools (2008, 2010). She is the fourth ECU player to claim the conference's Freshman-of-the-Year award, adding her name to a list that includes Lene Krog (2006), Amber Littman (2008) and Wolte (2011).
The Kinna, Sweden native tied for the C-USA lead with two individual titles this season winning the UNCG Starmount Forest Tournament, where she shot a school record 7-under par 206, and at the JMU Eagle Landing with a 4-under 212. She became the sixth player in school history to claim multiple titles in the same season and first since Wolte during her freshman campaign (2010-11). In all, she was a top-10 finisher at six events this season, including a sixth-place effort at the C-USA Championship.
One of three freshmen named to the first-team, Spang sports a league-best 73.39 stroke average, which also ranks as the best single-season average in ECU history.
Skaug took home second-team accolades following a stellar freshman campaign where she claimed individual medalist honors at the 2013 Conference USA Championships. She led wire-to-wire holding at least a share of first place after all three rounds and claimed ECU's second individual title (other was Krog in 2006) at the C-USA Championships after winning on the third playoff hole. On the season she sports a 75.04 stroke average ranking eighth on the Pirates' all-time single-season charts. In 10 events, she posted three top-10 finishes, which included a share of fifth at The Alamo Invitational (3-under 213) and seventh place at Briar's Creek (11-over 227).
Wolte picked up her third-straight all-conference honor joining Abby Bools, Jessica Krasny, Amber Littman, Adrienne Millican and Amy Otteson as three-time honorees. Bools is the Pirates lone golfer to earn All C-USA accolades four-straight seasons.
The Graz, Austria native played in 10 events on the season posting a 75.41 stroke average, which ranked third on the team. She earned league player-of-the-week honors on Apr. 16 after finishing sixth at the Marsh Landing Invitational with an even-par 216.
ECU will compete in its sixth-straight NCAA Regional when they travel to Auburn, Ala. for the East Regional Championships May 9-11.
2013 C-USA Women's Golf All-Conference Teams
Player-of-the-Year: Frida Gustafsson Spang, East Carolina
Freshman-of-the-Year: Frida Gustafsson Spang, East Carolina
Co-Most Improved Players-of-the-Year: Melanie White, SMU/Shu-Yin Liu, Tulsa
Coach-of-the-Year: Andrew Pratt, Tulane
First-Team All C-USA
Frida Gustafsson Spang, East Carolina
Felicia Espericueta, SMU
Jenny Haglund, SMU
Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane
Emily Penttila, Tulane
Second-Team All C-USA
Nicoline Engstroem Skaug, East Carolina
Madison Opfer, Tulane
Gemma Dryburgh, Tulane
Shu-Yin Liu, Tulsa
Monifa Sealy, UCF
Third-Team All C-USA
Fanny Wolte, East Carolina
Elizabeth Haycock, Old Dominion
Kristina Merkle, Tulsa
Antonia Von Wnuck, Tulsa
Carolin Pinegger, UCF