Seeing Red: SFU’s Minhas Named GNAC Player Of The Year
Simon Fraser's Meera Minhas was named the 2024 GNAC Women's Golf Player of the Year after a season where she helped the Red Leafs win their fifth conference title and the team's second in a row.
Simon Fraser's Meera Minhas was named the 2024 GNAC Women's Golf Player of the Year after a season where she helped the Red Leafs win their fifth conference title and the team's second in a row.

Thursday, May 2, 2024
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore.  –  After helping Simon Fraser to its fifth GNAC Championships title a week ago, Meera Minhas leads the 2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Golf All-Conference Team as the Player of the Year.

Minhas has been one of the most reliable golfers in the conference all season, ranking second in the league with an average of 74.9 strokes per round through a GNAC-leading 19 rounds. The sophomore from Burnaby, B.C., is the fourth Red Leaf to be named Player of the Year and is the first since Shirin Anjarwalla earned the honor in 2022.

Heading into the NCAA West Regional next week, Minhas has tallied six top-10 results, including four top-five finishes and a tie for medalist honors at the Southern Colorado Open. At the GNAC Championships in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Minhas took fourth place with a two-round score of 8-over-par 152 (77-75) for her second consecutive top-four finish at the tournament.


Player of the Year:
Meera Minhas, Simon Fraser
Coach of the Year: Matthew Steinbach, Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Lauren Lee, Western Washington
Freshman of the Year: Dana Smith, Simon Fraser

                                                                           FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
Name School Yr. Hometown
$ Meera Minhas Simon Fraser SO Burnaby, B.C.
Dana Smith Simon Fraser FR Campbell River, B.C.
$ Emma Worgum Western Washington SO La Conner, Wash.
#&+ Madison Gridley Northwest Nazarene SR Meridian, Idaho
Kassie Muanyam Simon Fraser JR Nanaimo, B.C.
$ Kelsie Inouye Saint Martin's SO Aiea, Hawaii
$ Ashley Bruland Saint Martin's SO Sedro-Woolley, Wash.
Anaya Bhandal Simon Fraser SO Surrey, B.C.
Lauren Lee Western Washington SO Pleasanton, Calif.


                                                                     SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE  
Name School Yr. Hometown
$ Sueah Park Simon Fraser SO Langley, B.C.
#^ Christine Cho Northwest Nazarene JR Meridian, Idaho
Hannah White Saint Martin's JR Fircrest, Wash.
Kasey Maralack Western Washington SO Snoqualmie, Wash.
#%^ Claire Moon Western Washington SR Olympia, Wash.
#^@ Dani Bailey Western Washington SR Queenstown, N.Z.

$-2022-23 First Team All-GNAC | #-2022-23 Second Team All-GNAC | ^-2021-22 First Team All-GNAC | &-2021-22 Second Team All-GNAC | @-2020-21 First Team All-GNAC | +-2020-21 Second Team All-GNAC | %-2019-20 Second Team All-GNAC


Minhas is joined on the first team by reigning GNAC Champion and Freshman of the Year Dana Smith, junior Kassie Muanyam and sophomore Anaya Bhandal. Smith, a native of Campbell River, B.C., is the lone freshman to earn all-conference honors after winning the conference championships a week ago with a two-day score of 2-under-par 142 (72-70). Smith has been the most efficient golfer in the conference this season and leads the GNAC with a 74.5 stroke average. That consistency has yielded top-10 finishes at five of the eight tournaments she has played in, including three top-five results.

Muanyam earned first-team selection in a season where she won the first tournament of her collegiate career at the Sonoma State Invitational. Muanyam followed up her first win with a tie for sixth at the GNAC Championship where she carded a two-round score of 10-over-par 154 (76-78). On the season, Muanyam ranks third on the team and fifth in the conference with a 76.3 stroke average and has notched three top-10 finishes. Bhandal finished alongside Muanyam in Coeur d’Alene and comes into the NCAA west regional with a 77.8 stroke average that ranks fourth on the team and eighth in the conference.

Simon Fraser head coach Matthew Steinbach was voted by his peers as the Coach of the Year after leading the Red Leafs to their second straight GNAC title with a tournament-record score of 596 and all six golfers in the top 10. The Red Leafs lead the conference with a team stroke average of 303.2 heading into next week’s west regional, an average that ranks over nine strokes better than any other team. The honor is the fourth in Steinbach’s career after he also earned the award last year, and is the sixth for the program overall.

Newcomer of the Year honors go to Western Washington’s Lauren Lee as the sophomore was also named to the all-conference first team following a strong debut season for the Vikings. On the season, Lee ranked second on the team and ninth in the conference with a 77.9 stroke average. She finished her first season for WWU with three top-10 finishes across eight tournaments and placed ninth at her first GNAC Championships with a two-round score of 155 (81-74).

Joining Lee on the first team is Western Washington teammate Emma Worgum after an impressive sophomore campaign where she finished runner-up at the GNAC Championships. Wogum carded a two-day score of even-par 144 (69-75) in Coeur d’Alene, including a first round where she tied the tournament single-round record. The result was one of three top-10 finishes for Worgum on the year as she led the team and ranked third in the GNAC with a 75.9 stroke average.

Saint Martin’s is represented by a pair of sophomore golfers on the first team in Kelsie Inouye and Ashley Bruland. Inouye, a native of Aiea, Hawaii, was the Saints’ most consistent golfer of the season and led the team with a 76.5 stroke average that ranked fifth in the GNAC. She was also SMU’s top finisher at the GNAC Championships where she tied for 10th with a score of 158 (73-85). Bruland has been right behind Inouye in terms of consistency, ranking second on the team and sixth in the conference with a 77.7 average. She tied for 17th place in Coeur d’Alene with a score of 169 (84-85) to cap off her sophomore season.

Northwest Nazarene’s Madison Gridley is among the most decorated members of the 2024 all-conference team as she makes her fourth appearance on the team and her inaugural first-team selection. The senior from Meridian, Idaho, has been the top Nighthawk this season, leading the team and ranking fourth in the conference with a 76.2 stroke average while amassing five top-five finishes, including a win at the NNU Nighthawk Challenge. Gridley also led the team at the GNAC Championships where she placed fifth with a two-day score of 9-over-par 153 (76-77).