May 8, 2012
As we continue to win conference championships while developing exceptional USD graduates, several Toreros who have made the greatest impact at USD through their successes athletically, academically, on campus, and in the local community were recognized during the evening. A list of the 2011-12 Celebration of Excellence award winners announced Monday are below.
SAAC Leadership Award
Gina Schneider, Women's Rowing
Spirit of the Torero Award
Torero Linking to the Community Award
Jack Shannon, Baseball
Highest GPA Awards
Sophomore - Taylor Housley, Women's Soccer
Political Science major and Finance minor with a 3.919 cumulative GPA
Junior - Laura Claus, Women's Tennis
Finance and Psychology major with an overall 3.945 GPA
Senior - Heather Hippensteel - Swimming
Accountancy & Supply Chain Management major with a 3.905 cumulative GPA
Top Torero Moments
Gets back to championship form and reminds conference foes what Torero Football is all about by defeating Jacksonville 23-14 to earn their 4th PFL title and first since 2007.
At #2....Women's Tennis
It took 28 years but the University of San Diego Women's Tennis team claimed its first-ever West Coast Conference title by beating No. 38 Pepperdine 4 to 2.
And at #1...
Women's Soccer winning its first WCC Championship in program history by beating No. 7 Santa Clara 3-0 and advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament by defeating No. 2 UCLA in dramatic fashion, 3-2 in penalty kicks.
Freshmen of the Year
Johnny Dee, Men's Basketball
From Vista, CA - Dee was one of 25 players across the nation selected to the CollegeInsider.com 2012 Mid-Major Freshmen All-America Team. Johnny was an All-WCC Honorable Mention and one of five WCC freshmen named to the All-WCC Freshman Team. Johnny Dee with the dribble drive penetration and kick outs from fellow freshmen Chris Anderson led the USD Toreros in scoring this season with his 13.7 points per game average, ranked first in the WCC in three-pointers made per game and was third in three-point accuracy.
For the season Dee started 30-of-31 games and averaged a team-best 29.6 minutes per contest. He converted 43.2% from the field, 42.2% from beyond the three-point arc and 85.9% from the free throw line. He reached double figure scoring in 21 games including eight games of 22 or more points. He scored a season-best 30 points against Pepperdine in the first round of the WCC Basketball Championships, and also set a new USD Division I scoring mark for freshmen with 426 points
Meghan O'Rourke, Women's Soccer
The first year defender from Solana Beach had an impressive freshman campaign. Meghan was named as an All-WCC Honorable Mention and one of eleven WCC freshmen named to the All-WCC Freshman Team. She helped the team reel off seven straight conference wins in route to earning the 2011 WCC championship for the first time in school history.
O'Rourke, was one of seven Toreros to start in all 22 games. She began the season in the backfield for USD, was moved up front and became a scoring threat for the Toreros. In WCC action, O'Rourke scored three goals and had one assist. She also had the game-winning goal in the 3-0 blanking of Gonzaga. Overall, O'Rourke recorded three goals, had twelve shots--nine of which were on goal, and three assists for nine points in her rookie campaign.
Torero(s) of the Year
Stephanie Ochs, Women's Soccer
The two-time All-American senior forward, from San Diego was drafted No. 3 overall in the Women's Professional Soccer League by the Boston Breakers and is a member of the United States Under-23 Women's National Team. Ochs, a three-time All-West Coast Conference first-team selection is the only San Diego women's soccer player to be recognized as the WCC Player of the Year, as she tied for the conference lead with 13 points during WCC play, while leading the WCC with nine assists in eight conference matches.
For the 2011 season, Ochs paced the Torero offense with a team high 30 total points including 8 goals scored and 14 helpers. She fired 70 total shots--38 of which were on goal. She guided USD to its first-ever WCC Championship and to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with wins over UC Irvine and No. 2 UCLA.
Stephanie will be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
Al-Rilwan Adeyemi, Football
USD senior cornerback Al-Rilwan Adeyemi from the Torero football team from Santa Monica, California was one of the PFL's top corner backs his entire four-year career with the Toreros. He was a leader in the Torero secondary and a speedy shut-down corner who excelled at covering receivers and intercepting or deflecting balls thrown his way when the quarterback chose to pass in his direction.
This past season he earned All-PFL First Team honors for the second straight season after totaling 34 tackles, 2 interceptions and 8 pass break-ups. He leaves USD as the program's all-time career leader in interceptions with 15. Ade, has been invited to the New York Giants mini-camp on May 10th, and is hopeful upon completion, he'll sign as a free agent.
Ade graduated this past fall with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and minor in Marketing.
Alex Ching, Golf
USD senior golfer Alex Ching was one of 26 golfers on the 2011 Ben Hogan Award Watch List and is a is a two-time West Coast Conference Golfer of the Year, Torero of the Year and four time All-WCC First Team member. Alex has had an incredibly year so far that has included 3 tournament wins and 7 top five finishes that is highlighted by an impressive 1st place showing at the San Diego Intercollegiate in Chula Vista. He finished with a one stroke victory at 2-under par while defeating three players from Stanford ranked in the top-10 nationally.
Currently ranked 47th in the nation, by GOLFWEEK he owns a stroke average of 70.63. Previously named a Division I Ping All-American honorable mention by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Alex tied for 2nd at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Besides his 2nd round 66 at Nationals that set a new course tournament record, he was also the clubhouse leader after 36 holes with a new course tournament record of 135 (previous mark was 136 by Tiger Woods in 1996).
Alex will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies.