USC Leading Northwestern in NCAA Semis After Win Over Ohio State|
May 23, 2017
Update After a morning win against Ohio State, USC staked itself to a 4-1 lead midway through its semifinal against Northwestern in a match cut short first by rain and then by darkness on Tuesday afternoon and one that will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m. CT at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
After dispatching the Buckeyes, 3-2, the Trojans teed off against the stroke play-winning Wildcats and saw freshman Muni He take a 2up lead through 13 holes with sophomore Robynn Ree (thru 14), senior Gabriella Then (12) and senior Tiffany Chan (11) all move ahead by a hole on the back 9. Senior Victoria Morgan is also in a tight contest, trailing by a hole through 15.
USC is seeking its fourth NCAA team title in its NCAA-best 20th consecutive trip to the NCAA finals. The Trojans are in their third consecutive NCAA match play bracket.
Senior Tiffany Chan and sophomore Robynn Ree converted back-to-back two putts to clinch their matches 1up while senior Victoria Morgan won hers 4&3 to lead No. 5 seed USC to a 3-1-1 NCAA Championships quarterfinal win over No. 4 seed Ohio State and earn a berth into this afternoon's semifinals against Northwestern on Tuesday (May 23) in Sugar Grove, Ill.
The Trojans, who join fellow semifinalist Stanford as the only teams to reach the NCAA match play bracket in the three seasons since its inception in 2015, are now 2-2 overall in NCAA match play competition. USC is a three-time NCAA title winner but looking for its first in the new format.
USC reached the 2015 semifinals after a win over Washington but fell to eventual champion Stanford. The Trojans lost to Duke in 2016 in the quarterfinals. Stanford and Arizona State are squaring off in the other semifinals.
Morgan, who briefly trailed early, was the first Trojan to clinch a point with her 4&3 win over Ohio State's Nikolette Schroeder. Ree never trailed in her match but a 3-hole lead was shrunk to two after 10 holes and it was at 1up during the final three holes before she clinched it on 9.
Chan trailed for one hole midway through her front, but turned with a 1up lead. Katja Pogacar evened it on 5, but Chan retook the lead on 8 and, like Ree, won her match by converting two putts from some 50 feet.
Senior Gabriella Then came back from a three-hole deficit after 10 holes to tie her match after 17 holes and was on the 20th hole when Chan clinched the match. Freshman Muni He never found her groove in the quarters and fell 5&4.
Chan improved to 10-1 in match play action this year while Morgan moved to 5-4-2, Ree to 3-0-1. He is 6-4 and Then is 7-2-2.