AUSTIN, Texas (May 10, 2008) - Facing an uphill battle in the final round of the NCAA Central Regional, the ETSU women's golf team was unable to make the necessary charge up the leaderboard to finish in the Top 8 and secure a berth in the NCAA Championships later this month. However, the Buccaneers spent Saturday evening not talking about the disappointments of the last three days, but rather the successes of an unprecedented season in 2007-08.
While the No. 42-ranked Bucs watched their season come to a close with a 15th place finish at the University of Texas Golf Club, the team still enjoyed a season which saw them win a conference title and make a trip in the NCAA Regionals for the first time ever. Not to mention reaching the highest national ranking in program history.
"The season ultimately ends in disappointment for every team in the country but one," said ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton. "But that doesn't mean we didn't meet our goals this season. We certainly wanted to make nationals, but we still made it this far for the first time ever and won an Atlantic Sun Conference championship. This group of young women accomplished things no one else ever has before in the ETSU women's golf program."
ETSU looked on as No. 3 UCLA captured the team title by 10 strokes over No. 6 Purdue. Meanwhile, Purdue's Maria Hernandez and UCLA's Maria Jose Uribe shared the individual title.
For the Bucs, sophomore Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia) posted the team's best score of the day with a 2-over 74 and finished tied for 41st along with senior Maria Ringdahl (Farjestaden, Sweden). Meanwhile, senior Natalia Giraldo (Cali, Colombia) and junior Lucy Gould (Bargoed, Wales) finished tied for 62nd and 64th, respectively.
Ringdahl and Giraldo end their careers having helped take the program to new levels and having watched a series of firsts during their time in Johnson City, including the program's first team championship, first outright individual title, first conference title, first NCAA berth, and highest national ranking.
"I can't say enough about Maria and Natalia," Shelton said. "They believed in our program and agreed to come to Johnson City to help make us a strong team. Since then, they have helped us realize the dreams we were just talking about four years ago."
For more on ETSU women's golf throughout the summer months and offseason, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women's golf link.