May 11, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs finished 13th at the NCAA Central Regionals, missing a berth in the NCAA Championships by five positions. Felicia Espericueta rallied after a lingering shoulder injury caused a tough first two rounds to finish three-under par on Saturday.
Espericueta, a senior, birdied three of her final six holes, totaling four birdies on the day. Her strong effort on Saturday was a 13-stroke improvement over her result on Friday.
"It's good that she ended her careeer on a good note," Head Coach Jeanne Sutherland said. "Her shoulder was really bothering her and it was tough for her. It was good to see her play well today."
Freshman Jenny Haglund was SMU's highest individual finisher, tying for 16th at two-over after an even-par final round. Haglund missed a chance for an individual berth to the NCAA Championships by just one stroke.
Four of the five players that competed in the NCAA Regional will return next season, with Espericueta and Melanie White being the only two seniors on the roster. The squad qualified for the program's first Regional since 2007, providing Sutherland confidence that the Mustangs have a bright future.
"I'm really proud of this team's play this entire year," Sutherland said. "They've raised this program's level to a nationally-competitive level. It's good for the young players to experience the NCAA Regionals, so it'll be more attainable when we're back next year."
Duke won the NCAA Central Regional, with Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, UC Davis, Wisconsin and Michigan State all qualifying for the NCAA Championships.