Trojans pull together for Pac-10 win

USC players and coaches celebrate after winning the 2011 Pac-10 Women's Championship.

USC players and coaches celebrate after winning the 2011 Pac-10 Women's Championship.

Women's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Alison LeeUCLA  69.59 
2Annie ParkUSC  69.73 
3Yu LiuDuke  69.81 
4Stephanie MeadowAlabama  70.00 
5Gaby LopezArkansas  70.01 

Women's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Southern California 70.32 
2UCLA 70.60 
3Duke 70.79 
4Stanford 71.49  10 
5Arkansas 71.52 

TEMPE, Ariz. – The top-ranked USC women’s team was shorthanded during the final round of the Pac-10 Women’s Championship on April 19 after losing highly ranked junior Lisa McCloskey for the final day because of a rib injury. With the remaining four Trojans knowing that their scores would have to count, they came through in style, shooting a 3-over 291 in the final round and an even-par 864 total to close out a five-shot victory over Arizona at ASU Karsten Golf Club in Tempe, Ariz. UCLA finished third, nine shots back, followed by California, Stanford and host Arizona State.

photo

Sophia Popov of USC

USC’s Sophia Popov, a freshman from Germany, won a one-hole playoff over UCLA’s Tiffany Lua for the individual title. She shot 69-71-70 for a 6-under 210 total. It was her third victory of the season, as well as the Trojans’ third team title.

Popov joined senior Lizette Salas (T-6), sophomore Cyna Rodriguez (T-6) and freshman Rachel Morris (T-29) in making sure the loss of McCloskey, who is No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, didn’t derail their title hopes. It is hoped McCloskey will return for NCAA regional play May 5-7.

“The team had to play for (Lisa) and for each other, and they played great,” USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. “They did a great job. Each player went through a little bit of struggle, but they all fought back. They played clutch.”

USC last won the Pac-10 title in 2008, which was the second leg of a four-tournament winning streak that ended with the 2008 NCAA title. That was also the last year USC won an individual Pac-10 title (Paola Moreno).

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