April 17, 2014
WACO, Texas - The No. 10 SMU equestrian team defeated No. 7 New Mexico State in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association First Round by a score of 10-6 (2268-2296.5) on Thursday at the Extraco Events Center.
With the win, the Mustangs advanced to the NCEA Quarterfinals for the third-straight season, and the third time in program history. The Mustangs will take on No. 2 Oklahoma State in Friday's quarterfinal, beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT. Thursday's victory was the Mustangs' second-consecutive first-round win over New Mexico State.
"It was an interesting day," head coach Natalie Burton said. "We really dominated in some areas where we've been weak this year. That's a great thing. It's nice to look forward to tomorrow with the confidence that we gained from today's win."
The Mustangs began their morning by taking three of four points on equitation on the flat. Fischer opened the scoring with a 140-124 victory over New Mexico State's Emily McConnell. The SMU senior's victory is her second-straight in the event. Sophomore Alex Butterworth (151-133) and freshman All-American Sylvia de Toledo (143-131) picked up SMU's other two flat points to give SMU the 3-1 advantage after the first event.
SMU would double its advantage to 6-2 at the midway point thanks to a season-high three reining points on Thursday morning. Freshman Kristen Schramm recorded her second (Sept. 29 vs. Tennessee-Martin) reining point of the season with a 136.5-136 victory over the Aggies' Tara Wilson. Junior Courtney Line added her fifth reining victory of the season with a 135.5-134 decision, and freshman Jaclyn White tallied her fourth reining win by a count of 141-140.
"I'm blown away by how well we did today," Burton said. "Hunter seat did what it had to do, and I would expect nothing less from them, but western did above and beyond what was expected. I don't think the girls have let it sink in how big of a step a first-year western team made today. With that said, we have to brush off this win, and get refocused for tomorrow."
Fischer completed the double with a 162-159 fences point to extend the SMU lead to 7-2 to begin the afternoon hunter-seat session. Junior Emma Roberts inked the Mustangs' other fences point to salvage the split with a match-up high 169 points to defeat New Mexico State's Shannon Dooley (161). With the 2-2 draw in fences, SMU carried an 8-4 lead into the final event.
Freshman Hannah McCain's 144.5-142 victory over New Mexico State's Clarissa Edgerton punched SMU's ticket into the quarterfinal in the first horsemanship ride of the evening. Line would finish her two-point day to cap off SMU's scoring in Thursday's first round with a 141-140 victory.
Fans can follow @SMUEquestrian on Twitter for updates from tomorrow's national quarterfinal.