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Big Ten Announces Women’s Golf All-Conference Teams and Individual Award Winners

Michigan State’s Valery Plata named Player of the Year, Northwestern’s Irene Kim selected Freshman of the Year and Nebraska’s Kate Smith earned Mary Fossum Award

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference office announced the 2020 women’s golf All-Conference teams and individual award winners on Monday. Michigan State’s Valery Plata was named the women’s golf Big Ten Player of the Year, Northwestern’s Irene Kim received Freshman of the Year accolades and Nebraska’s Kate Smith earned the Mary Fossum Award.

Plata earned Player of the Year honors after she completed the year ranked 26th by Golfweek and 72nd by Golfstat. The sophomore earned medalist honors at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational (-11; 205), in addition to placing in the top 20 in five of her six events. Plata tied for second at the Mary Fossum Invitational (+1; 220), tied for 17th at the Landfall Tradition (+2; 218), tied for 12th at the UCF Challenge (-3; 213) and tied for 19th at the All State Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate (E; 219). Plata is the sixth Spartan to earn the award and first since Sarah Burnham won back-to-back honors in 2017 and 2018.

Kim was named Freshman of the Year after completing her rookie campaign ranked 88th by Golfweek and 108th by Golfstat. Kim earned the first medalist honor of her collegiate career at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic (-9; 207). She also earned a top-20 finish at the Bruin Wave Invitational where she finished tie for 17th (+9; 225). Kim is the fifth Wildcat to claim this honor and first since Stephanie Lau in 2016.

Nebraska’s Kate Smith earned the Mary Fossum Award, honoring the conference player with the lowest stroke average relative to par this season, at .018.


Women’s Golf Big Ten Player of the Year:
 Valery Plata, Michigan State
Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Irene Kim, Northwestern
Mary Fossum Award: Kate Smith, Nebraska


All-Big Ten Teams

First Team

Priscilla Schmid, Indiana

Valery Plata, Michigan State

Allyson Geer-Park, Michigan State

Ashley Kim, Michigan

Kate Smith, Nebraska

Kelly Sim, Northwestern

Yurika Tanida, Michigan State


Second Team

Tristyn Nowlin, Illinois

Irene Kim, Northwestern

Virun Olankitkunchai, Maryland

Brooke Riley, Northwestern

Aneka Seumanutafa, Ohio State

Paz Marfa, Michigan State

Kornkamol Sukaree, Illinois

Hailey Borja, Michigan

Sifat Sagoo, Purdue


Sportsmanship Honorees

Reena Sulkar, Illinois

Mary Parsons, Indiana

Jacque Galloway, Iowa

Elena Verticchio, Maryland

Hannah Ghelfi, Michigan

Valery Plata, Michigan Sate

Grace Curran, Minnesota

Kate Smith, Nebraska

Kelly Su, Northwestern

Adeena Shears, Ohio State

Sarah Willis, Penn State

Kan Bunnabodee, Purdue

Maeve Rossi, Rutgers

Tess Hackworthy, Wisconsin