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Merch Madness
Courtesy: JMUSports.com
Women's Golf's Sakamoto, Mak Earn All-CAA Honors
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:05/15/2012

RICHMOND, Va. - James Madison women's golf has had two players named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association squads for the 2011-12 season, as senior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) was named to the first team and sophomore Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) earned a spot on the second team.

Sakamoto led JMU in scoring with a 74.94 average, second lowest all-time at JMU, while playing in all 11 tournaments and 33 rounds, including a fifth-place finish at the 2012 CAA Women's Golf Championship, earning her third-consecutive All-Tournament honor after the Dukes finished second. Also named the team's MVP this year, the senior won her third career tournament with a one-shot victory at the 2012 UNCW Lady Seahawk Classic. She also had four other top-fives and five top-10s in the remaining 10 tournaments. For her career, she averaged 76.21 strokes in 121 career rounds, ranking second all-time among players with at least 45 rounds and surpassed only by Mak. She has a career-low round of 3-under 69 and posted 15 career rounds of par or better. She was a three-time All-CAA selection and qualified as an individual for the 2010 NCAA Regionals, while owning the two lowest single-season scoring averages since 1993-94 and the lowest 36- and 54-hole totals in school history.

"Nicole had a terrific career at JMU," Head Coach Paul Gooden said. "She has high goals to play on the LPGA.  I am so proud to have had the chance to coach her. She will be missed next season."

Mak earned her second All-CAA honor of her career after being named Rookie of the Year and First Team in 2010-11. This season, she ranked second on the team with a 75.91 in 33 rounds played, including four rounds of par or better, while having one top-five and two top-10 placings. Her best finish of the year was placing second at the 2012 Hurricane Invitational. Her career-low 69 occurred in the second round of the UNCW Lady Seahawk Classic, where she eventually tied for ninth. She is the current career leader in scoring for the Dukes, averaging 76.03 strokes in 58 career rounds.

"Ginger is so good at golf," Gooden commented. "She is just finding that extra gear she needs to play with the elite players in college golf. I look forward to the next two years with her leading the way for our team."

The team also handed out another award at the end of the season, the Martha O'Donnell Leadership Award that recognizes the efforts of one of the team members in providing leadership to the squad. This year's recipient was senior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana). Sanmiguel played in 24 rounds in 2011-12, averaging 80.33 strokes in 24 rounds while fighting back in the spring from an off-season injury. Her best finish of the year was a tie for 10th in the season-opening Golfweek DIvison I Program Challenge, including a 2-under 70 in the first round. She ranks 11th among players ince 1993-94 in career scoring with a 79.26 average in 68 career rounds.

"Valentina stepped up to be the leader of our team this year," Gooden stated. "With such a young team, the girls needed that special someone to guide them thru the season. It is an honor to give the Martha O'Donnell award to her."

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