Rachel Kuehn (Wake Forest Athletics Photo)
The women’s semifinal featured a national championship rematch between Wake Forest and Southern California. The Deamon Deacons claimed the contest 3-2 to advance to the championship match. In the later semifinal, Stanford rallied in extra holes to out-duel Texas A&M, 3-2, and earn a spot in Wednesday’s championship match.
The early semifinal was a back-and-forth battle that was decided by the anchor match with Wake Forest graduate student Rachel Kuehn earning the final point with a 2&1 win over Southern California’s Xin (Cindy) Kou to send the Demon Deacons to the championship match.
The teams split the first two points of the day. Lady Trojan freshman Bailey Shoemaker claimed a 2&1 win over Demon Deacon sophomore Anne-Sterre den Dunnen to post the first point of the match for Southern California. Wake Forest then evened things with a 3&2 victory from senior Mimi Rhodes against sophomore Catherine Park.
Senior Brianna Navarrosa tallied the next USC point with a 4&3 win over freshman Macy Pate. Wake Forest got the match back to square thanks to junior Caroline Lopez-Chacarra’s 2&1 victory over junior Amari Avery, which set the stage for Rachel Kuehn’s clinching point.
“Feel very good,” said Wake Forest Head Coach Kim Lewellen. “The entire tournament is wonderful because you have four incredibly… incredible teams. So, to go out there… and we have two players that are new to the lineup and so to give them the experience to go out there, to have our players that have been here before and have done it to perform well and win those matches, to play an outstanding team like Southern Cal, we played them last year in the finals NCAAs. Really thrilled about… A, the experience they're getting… and B, the outcome. Also looking forward to playing Stanford tomorrow, and now that they'll soon be in the ACC, that makes it even more fun.”
The later semifinal was a dramatic match that featured nine ties in regulation and went to extra holes to decide the clinching point. Stanford’s Megha Ganne, a sophomore, battled against Texas A&M senior Zoe Slaughter to win holes No. 17 and 18 and force a playoff. Ganne won the match with a par on the fourth playoff hole to punch the Cardinal’s ticket to the championship.
Texas A&M graduate student Blanca Fernández García-Poggio earned the first point with a 2&1 win over Stanford junior Caroline Sturdza. The Cardinal responded with an impressive 4&3 victory by Monday’s medalist, senior Sadie Englemann, over Texas A&M sophomore Mia Nixon. Aggies graduate student Jennie Park grabbed the second point of the match 3&1 over Stanford sophomore Kelly Xu.
Stanford balanced the scales again when freshman Paula Martín Sampedro defeated Texas A&M Junior Lana Calibuso-Kwee 2&1. Both teams gathered around the 18th green as Ganne’s winning putt found the bottom of the cup.
“Saw a lot of grit, honestly,” said Stanford Head Coach Anne Walker. “I was just telling these guys, they were on their heels the entire day. Certainly, never looked like the win percentage graph, we were never in the right side of it. I think they were unfazed in their strategy, and they were unfazed in their determination just to stick with their plans and that's ultimately what paid off for them there at the end. With Match play, you have to be ready for a long day with a lot of patience, and I feel like that's what they did really well today.”
Recap Courtesy of East Lake CupView results for Women's East Lake Cup
ABOUT THE Women's East Lake Cup
Started in 2015 and hosted by the historic
Lake Golf Club Atlanta, this collegiate, two-day
play competition features the top-performing
from the previous year's NCAA Women's
View Complete Tournament Information