STILLWATER, Okla. – After six rounds of golf over five days, No. 2-seeded Alabama and No. 8-seeded Arizona emerged from the original 24-team field, winning in quarterfinals and semifinals today to advance to the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship match. The two teams will meet on Wednesday, teeing off at 2:25 p.m., at Karsten Creek Golf Club for the title.
After a dramatic playoff win to advance to match play, Arizona carried that momentum, knocking off No. 1 UCLA, 3-2 in quarterfinal action. Arizona’s Gigi Stoll, Haley Moore and Bianca Pagdanganan recorded the wins for the Wildcats, while UCLA’s Mariel Galdiano and Beth Wu notched the Bruins’ wins.
In semifinal action, Arizona remained in upset mode, downing No. 5 Stanford, 4-1. The Wildcats continued their hot play with Moore, Sandra Nordaas, Pagdanganan and Stoll posting victories. Stanford’s Shannon Aubert recorded the Cardinal win.
“I think the ladies on our team, they really took the momentum that we had from yesterday and they brought it into their matches starting off today,” Arizona head coach Laura Ianello said. “The first match against UCLA was huge in her match right from the get-go. I feel like everybody on this entire golf team is really invested and committed and I believe that we can make a shot at it.”
Alabama started the day defeating No. 7 Kent State, 4-1, in quarterfinal action. Wins from Kristen Gillman, Cheyenne Knight, Angelica Moresco and Lauren Stephenson pushed the Tide into the semifinals. Kent State’s Karoline Stormo recorded the Golden Flashes’ lone win.
Alabama continued to roll in semifinals, moving past No. 3 Southern California, 3-1-1. The trio of Gillman, Knight and Stephenson again posted wins. Southern California’s Alyaa Abdulghany notched the Trojans’ win.
“Well, we’re really excited about this, our first time in match play in four years, and I’ve always felt like we have a great match play team,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “And these three are great players. The way they’ve played throughout the year, if we just kept calm, we were going to be a factor in stroke play in this tournament. I’m really happy with how they’ve handled this, and we’re really excited to be in the finals.”
In the earlier quarterfinals matchups, Southern California defeated No. 6 Duke, 3-1-1. The Trojans’ Abdulghany, Amelia Garvey and Ruffels posted wins to push Southern California to the championship match. Leona Maguire recorded Duke’s sole win.
In the other quarterfinal matchup, Stanford upset No. 4 Northwestern, 3-2, led by Aubert, Andrea Lee and Albane Valenzuela, who won their matchups for the Cardinal. Northwestern’s wins came from Sarah Cho and Hannah Kim.
Alabama and Arizona tee off for the team championship, hosted by Oklahoma State University, Wednesday at 2:25 p.m. Follow the action at:
ALABAMA DEF. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 3-1-1
Lauren Stephenson, Alabama, def. Jennifer Chang, Southern California, 2&1
Kristen Gillman, Alabama, def. Amelia Garvey, Southern California, 3&1
Cheyenne Knight, Alabama, def. Allisen Corpuz, Southern California, 3&1
Alyaa Abdulghany, Southern California, def. Lakareber Abe, Alabama, 1 Up
Angelica Moresco, Alabama vs. Gabi Ruffels, Southern California, All-square
ARIZONA DEF. STANFORD 4-1-0
Gigi Stoll, Arizona def. Ziyi Wang, Stanford, 5&3
Shannon Aubert, Stanford , def. Yu-Sang Hou, Arizona, 1&1
Hayley Moore, Arizona, def. Mika Liu, Stanford, 3&2
Sandra Nordaas, Arizona, def. Albane Valenzuela, 6&4
Bianca Pagdanganan, Arizona, def. Andrea Lee, Stanford, 1 Up