Three Salukis named WGCA All-American Scholars

    Senior Cassie Rushing has earned WGCA All-American Scholar honors in three consecutive seasons.

    Senior Cassie Rushing has earned WGCA All-American Scholar honors in three consecutive seasons.
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    Three Saluki women's golfers earn MVC Scholar-Athlete recognition

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    July 2, 2014

    WGCA Release

    By Tyler Wooten

    CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Brooke Cusumano, Mattie Lindner and Cassie Rushing of the Saluki women's golf team have been honored as All-American Scholars, as voted on by the Women's Golf Coaches Association and announced by the organization on Wednesday.

    A total of 664 women's collegiate golfers were recognized for the 2013-14 season, including 16 alone from the Missouri Valley Conference. The WGCA All-American Scholar team holds some of the highest qualifying criteria in all of college athletics, as student-athletes must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 to be eligible. Of the seven Valley teams honored, Southern is tied with Indiana State and Loyola with the most honorees with three.

    Cusumano, Lindner and Rushing are the 56th, 57th and 58th Salukis in school history to earn the distinction -- which includes a third consecutive honor for Rushing and the second straight for Lindner. In just three seasons at SIU, head coach Alexis Mihelich has racked up 10 All-American Scholars -- earning no fewer than three honorees each season.

    Rushing, a senior native of Marion, Ill., capped off an extraordinary Saluki career in 2013-14. She solidified herself as not only one of the finest golfers in SIU history, but in the history of the Valley as well. Rushing earned her fourth consecutive All-MVC honor at the MVC Championships in April, making her one of only eight women's golfers in Valley history and the second ever at SIU to complete such a feat. She also finished her career as SIU's all-time leader in stroke average (77.1) and Southern's all-time leader in rounds below 80 with 85 such rounds. A sports administration major, Rushing finished her Saluki career at a cumulative GPA of 3.782 after having a perfect 4.0 this past season.



    Lindner, a sophomore native of Lebanon, Ind., didn't make Mihelich's MVC tournament roster but still had a strong second season at Southern. Lindner finished third on SIU's roster in stroke average (78.8) and shot an SIU career-low 74 twice at the Eagle Landing Invitational, where she finished tied for 26th. She currently holds a 3.827 cumulative GPA as a journalism major.

    Cusumano, a freshman native of St. Louis, had a very solid initial Saluki campaign as she was one of only three Salukis to play in all 34 rounds in 2013-14. Cusumano was a member on SIU's conference tournament roster and finished the season with an under-80 average at 79.0. Down the stretch, Cusumano proved to be one of SIU's more consistent golfers as she finished in the top-10 at both the Saluki Invitational (tied for fifth) and Bradley Invitational (tied for eighth) -- all during a stretch that saw her shoot four consecutive 77's. An accounting major, Cusumano posted a perfect 4.0 GPA after her first year in Carbondale.

    "These ladies are motivated not only to be great golfers but exceptional students academically," Mihelich said. "They put in long hours studying during the season and off season, and their hard work pays off."