LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The University of Louisville women's golf team made the NCAA Tournament field with a 17th seeding in the East Region. The Cardinals will play May 10-12 at the University of North Carolina.
The Cardinals, in just their second year of competition, are just the second program to make the NCAA Tournament as early as the second year of existence. Only the University of Tennessee achieved that in 1994 in the Lady Vols' second year.
"I am very proud of our team," said Kelly Meyers, U of L head coach. "This was our goal at the beginning of the year. Our consistent play and hard work rewarded us in the end."
The Cardinals will join a field of 21 teams led by the top three seeds, Duke, Auburn, Georgia. Fellow Conference USA member South Florida drew the 9th seed. The East regional will be played at Finley Golf Course, Chapel Hill, N.C., hosted by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
The Cardinals are particularly pleased with their draw as they have played in the Carolinas most of the spring as they sought to have head to head competition with other schools in the region. In the ten tournaments this year, five were played in either North or South Carolina. U of L finished third in the C-USA Championship.
"Spring counts more than the fall does," said Meyers. "Our consistent play kept us alive. We had to play in some bad weather early in the spring season and perhaps having three Canadians on the squad helped in that aspect. Overall, from tournament to tournament we posted consistent scores."
The Cardinals are led by Canadian Katherine Mowat, who was recently named to the All-Conference USA, All-C-USA Tournament Teams and co-MVP of the Team. She was 2000's Conference USA Champion and posts a 77.67 average for the year. Fellow Canadian and co-MVP Cindy Pasechnik has been one of the Cardinals steadiest golfers and is second on the team in average this spring but leads the team on the year at 77.27. She was named to the All-Conference squad as well.
Three regional tournaments will be conducted May 10-12 to determine the championships field. Regional tournaments are considered preliminary rounds of NCAA championships competition, and all national championships policies will apply.
A total of 321 participants have been selected for the regional competition. Of these players, 126 will advance to the championships finals May 22-25. Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each region. Conference automatic qualifiers are indicated in parenthesis next to the institution.
1. Duke (ACC)
3. Georgia (SEC)
7. Wake Forest
8. New Mexico
9. South Florida
11. San Jose State
12. South Carolina
14. San Diego State
15. Florida State
16. North Carolina
18. Campbell (Trans America Athletic Conference)
19. Kansas State
20. Jackson State (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
21. Charleston Southern (Big South Conference)
1. Michelle Simpson, Fla. Int'l
2. Stephanie George, Radford
The championships finals will be held at Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort, Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, cohosted by Stetson University and the Central Florida Sports Commission.