Melbourne, Fla. - Fresh off guiding Lynn University's women's golf team to the program's second Sunshine State Conference championship, and 39th in school history, head coach Marcelo Huarte has been honored as the SSC Coach of the Year, as announced on Friday. The first-year coach was not alone in receiving All-SSC recognition as Helen Kreuzer and Kristina Ortiz garnered First and Second Team accolades.
The Fighting Knights excelled under Huarte's leadership in his first season with the team, winning two tournaments, finishing in the top-five in all 10 events and capturing the 2019 SSC Women's Golf Championship, defeating top-ranked Barry in the process. And now SSC Coach of the Year and two All-SSC selections for the first time since 2015 can be added to the team's success.
Huarte is the first women's golf coach of the year recipient for Lynn since 2014 and the second coach to win the top coaching award for the league (Danny Randolph, 2012 & '14). The former All-American and national championship player and assistant coach also becomes the fifth coach in Lynn history to win SSC Coach of the Year laurels in his first season, joining Randolph, Chris Greenwood (Men's Golf – 2006), Thomas Macera (Softball – 2005) and Rocky Orezzoli (Women's Soccer – 1998).
Kreuzer's heads into postseason play as one of the top golfers in the nation. Ranked No. 6 individually, she is on the verge of breaking the single-season program record for stroke average (73.26) while shedding nearly three and a half strokes off her average from last year. The Bensheim, Germany, native has eight top-10 finishes, five top-five and two tournament wins, becoming the first golfer since Ortiz in 2016, and eighth overall, with multiple medalist honors in a single year.
Ortiz finally receives recognition from the conference after a stellar four-year career in the Blue and White. This season she has posted the lowest stroke average of her career (74.78) and recorded a personal-best five top-10 finishes, giving her 14 in her career which is tied for ninth in program history.
Tampa's Kiira Riihijarvi was named the SSC Women's Golfer of the Year with Nova Southeastern's Hanna Ahlander garnering SSC Freshman of the Year. No institution had more than one selection on the first team but Nova Southeastern led all schools with three honorees, followed by Lynn and Barry with two apiece.
The NCAA will announce the Super Region 2 field on Monday. Lynn will be making its eighth consecutive appearance, and 16th overall. Competition begins Monday, May 6, at the Cleveland Country Club in Cleveland, Tenn. The top-four teams advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship at the PGA National Champions Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., from Tuesday, May 14 through Saturday, May 18.