The NCAA women’s golf selection show unveiled Kristin Simonsen on Monday as a regional qualifier
For the second year in a row, Fresno State's Hannah Sodersten has qualified for the United States Women's Amateur Public Links.
Milberger joins Fresno State after leading the University of Montana for the past two seasons as its head coach for the women's golf team.
Last updated: June 3, 2016
Emily Loftin, the second head coach in Fresno State women's golf program history, will enter her fourth season at the helm of the Bulldogs in the fall of 2016, since being hired on Aug. 2, 2013.
In Loftin’s third season guiding the Bulldogs, Fresno State saw unprecedented success. The 2015-16 squad recorded the lowest team scoring average in program history at 295.00 (7.26 vs. par), the 'Dogs posted six team rounds scored par or better – shattering the previous record of two, the lowest single-round scored by a team (279) and lowest round vs. par (9-under-par 279), and first 54-hole tournament scored under-par in program history (12-under-par 859).
The Bulldogs won their home-hosted Fresno State Classic for the third-straight season, against a 2016 field of 15 that included top 100 teams Boise State, CSU Fullerton, Idaho, Nevada and Santa Clara. An event cut to 36 holes due to weather, was won by the Bulldogs with a 1-over-par 577.
In addition to the home win, Fresno State was the runner-up at the Gold Rush (881) and claimed third in three other tournaments, including the Mountain West Women’s Golf Championship. The finish at the conference championship matched the Bulldogs best finish at the conference tournament in the program's four years in the league and their 54-hole 897 was an all-time event low. Fresno State finished behind tournament champion No. 17 UNLV and No. 22 San Diego State. The Bulldogs were in third place and two shots back from the lead after round one, rose to second after Tuesday's round, and dropped back to third at the conclusion of the championship.
Overall, the ’Dogs placed at least in the top six in seven of the 11 tournaments they played during the 2015-16 season.
Loftin guided an individual to the NCAA postseason for the third-straight season as freshman Kristin Simonsen was named an at-large selection by the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Committee to compete at the Stanford Regional (May 5-7). Simonsen became the second Bulldog freshman to earn an at-large bid in program history – joining Laura Luethke (2005). Simonsen was also named second-team All-Mountain West.
Other individual accomplishments under Loftin’s tutelage included junior Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir carding the second-lowest scoring average vs. par in program history at 1.39 vs. par following a 73.32 season scoring average that led the team. Bjorgvinsdottir set the lowest 36-hole total in program history, a 5-under-par 139 (68-71) at the Fresno State Classic and also led the team with a school record 14 rounds carded par or better in a single season.
Senior Hannah Sodersten posted the fourth-best single-season scoring average in program history with a 73.55 scoring average (1.61 vs. par) over 31 rounds and completed her career with a 75.15 scoring average (3.18 vs. par) -- the third-best career scoring average in program history when playing at least 100 rounds.
Loftin’s squad finished the season with its best ranking since taking over the program, ranking No. 68, while Bjorgvinsdottir, Simonsen and Sodersten were all ranked in the final poll individually.
During Loftin's sophomore campaign in 2014-15 she led the Bulldogs to several all-time program bests, including lowest single-round (285-Mountain View Collegiate), lowest three-round score (871-Mountain View Collegiate) and lowest team season scoring average (298.71). Her squad also posted the most birdies (291) and eagles (6) in a single season in school history.
The Bulldogs achieved their best national ranking in 2014-15 since the 2007-08 season.
She won the Fresno State Classic for the second-straight season. The Bulldogs clinched the top spot with a 21-stroke win over the second-place opponent and took the top three spots on the individual leaderboard en route to defending their title.
Loftin's star pupil, senior Madchen Ly, reached the NCAA Regionals for a second consecutive season. In 2015 Ly was selected to play in the South Bend Regional. Ly fired a 7-over at the tournament to finish in a tie for 26th overall. Prior to the NCAA selection, Ly was named first-team All-Mountain West
Loftin's team's achievements have also been held off the course, and in the classroom as well. The Fresno State women's golf team was recognized for its multi-year NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). The Bulldogs earned the NCAA's highest possible multi-year score with a perfect mark of 1,000.
Additionally, four Bulldogs were named to the 2015 All-Mountain All-Academic team (Mimi Ho, Madchen Ly, Hannah Sodersten and Samantha Spencer). Three were named MW Scholar Athletes (Mimi Ho, Kayla Luis) and two were named Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholars (Guðrún Brá Björgvinsdóttir and Mimi Ho).
In Loftin's first season as head coach of the women's golf program, she guided freshman Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir to an individual Mountain West Championship title - the third individual to claim a conference championship and first from the Mountain West. The Bulldogs freshman took first place at 2-over par, 218 (71-71-76), sinking 10 birdies in the process.
The championship marked Bjorgvinsdottir's best career finish, while teammate Madchen Ly claimed sixth-place to help place the 'Dogs third overall at the Championship. Both of Loftin's student-athletes were named to the All-Mountain West second-team at the conclusion of the season.
After her first season with the team, five members from the women's golf team were named to the All-Mountain All-Academic team and two were named Mountain West Scholar Athletes.
Known as Emily Milberger (maiden name) when joining Fresno State in 2013, she came to Fresno after leading the University of Montana for two seasons as its head coach for the women's golf team.
While coaching at Montana, Loftin (Milberger) led 38 women to top-25 finishes, secured the team record for the lowest three-round total in school history (903) and guided the Grizzlies to one team win along with two individual wins.
In Loftin's (Milberger) first season she led an individual to a season scoring average of 76.30, the lowest average in program history and coached another to Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year accolades.
Her team owned the highest athletics GPA (3.41) in the 2013 spring semester at UM and she has had seven selections on the Academic All-Big Sky Conference team in the past two seasons.
Prior to her seizing her first head coaching position at Montana, she spent two seasons as an assistant at Southern Methodist University (2009-2011) and served as the interim head coach for SMU during the spring of 2011.
Loftin (Milberger) guided the Mustangs to a sixth-place finish that spring, just nine strokes behind league champion UTEP.
She began her coaching career at the University of Oklahoma, her alma mater. After serving as a graduate assistant from 2005-07, she moved into her first full-time coaching position. She continued to coach for the Sooners for two seasons (2007-09) before accepting her position with SMU.
Loftin (Milberger) earned an undergraduate degree in marketing in May 2005, and then earned a master's degree in adult and higher education in May 2007, both from Oklahoma.
Originally from Olathe, Kan., Loftin (Milberger) was a four-year letterwinner and four-time National Golf Coaches Association Academic All-American while at Oklahoma (2001-05). She was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a senior and advanced to NCAA regionals in 2005 as an individual.
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