SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly joins seven other teams for the 2019 Big West Conference Women's Golf Championship next week at the Moorpark Country Club in Moorpark, Calif.
Coach Sofie Aagaard guided the Mustangs to the 2017 Big West title in her second season at the helm and feels she has the golfers who can add a second conference team title to the trophy case.
"Even though we have a young lineup with two freshmen and two sophomores, we still have great experience with this group in team tournament titles, individual tournament titles and a conference champion title," said Aagaard. "This competitive experience will benefit us as we compete for the trophy next week."
Cal Poly has competed in just one tournament over the last six weeks, placing fourth in the 20-team Wyoming Cowgirl Classic earlier this week in Maricopa, Arizona.
"We have a short break in between our last tournament and the upcoming conference championship and I'm glad we get to keep the competitive energy through this week in our practice and preparations," said Aagaard.
Cal Poly will be led by three golfers with scoring averages of 75 or below.
Sophomore Caroline Cantlay (pictured above) owns a team-leading 74.2 average with five under-par rounds, including two in the 60s, while freshman Elizabeth Scholtes is close behind with a 74.3 average and seven rounds of par or under. Vanessa Wang, another freshman, is averaging 75.3 strokes per round and placed eighth in the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic.
Filling out Cal Poly's roster for the conference championship are sophomore Sienna Scibird and senior Mallory Muehlbauer.
"Conference championships and post season play may be just another tournament week to some. To us, this is what we have been training for and preparing for all season. We may see some nervousness and added pressure, but nothing different from the scenarios we have been practicing under and talked about through the season," said Aagaard.
"Winning the conference title is our ticket to postseason play and we know it. We are excited to battle with UC Davis and Long Beach State, the top ranked teams in our conference, and we will do our best to challenge the competition and represent Cal Poly in the best way possible," Aagaard added.
In the conference's individual rankings, Cantlay is No. 3, Scholtes No. 5 and Wang No. 8. Scholtes and Wang are the top two freshmen on the list.
Single rounds will be played on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the 6,279-yard, par-72 course.
The top two seeds, No. 1 UC Davis and No. 2 Long Beach State, tee off Monday at 7:30 a.m., with the third through fifth seeds — Cal Poly, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton, respectively, set to go at 8:20 a.m. The field is rounded out by No. 6 UC Riverside, No. 7 Hawai'i and No. 8 CSUN at 9:10 a.m.
Admission is free.
UC Davis ended the regular season with a team and individual title at the Fresno State Classic. The first-place finish marked the fourth top-five placement of the year for the Aggies.
Christine Danielsson of UC Davis nabbed the Fresno State Classic individual title after firing three under-par scores of 69-71-69. Danielsson paces the Big West with a 73.0 stroke average.
Defending Big West champion Long Beach State placed in the top five in three tournaments this year and returns four players from the 2018 championship team.
Cal Poly won the UC Irvine Invitational and placed second at the Battle of the Rock earlier this year, beating out all seven conference schools competing at the two tournaments. Cantlay (UC Irvine Invitational) and Scholtes (Battle at the Rock) collected individual medalist honors this season.
The winning team advances to the NCAA Division I women's regionals, which will be held May 6-8 at Saugahatchee Country Club in Opelika, Alabama; Tumble Creek Golf Club in Cle Elum, Washington; Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Oklahoma; and Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Michigan.
The 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships will be hosted May 17-22 at Blessings Golf Course in Fayetteville, Ark.