Wheeling, W.Va. – Throughout the fall season, the Wheeling University Women’s Golf team has been facing off against some of the best teams in the region as they prepare for the 2022 Mountain East Conference (MEC) Championships. On Saturday, the Cardinals begin their final tune-up before the MEC Championships when they head to the Eagle Invitational hosted by Ashland University. The Cardinals have dealt with rough weather throughout the fall season, only getting to play four total rounds, and they are hoping for a clean weekend in their final invitational of the year.
Last time out, the Cardinals took on the Michael Corbit Classic in Erie, Pennsylvania, and dealt with rough weather throughout the tournament. After making it through round one, rain came down on Monday morning and ended up canceling the tournament’s second round of competition. However, it was a strong day one for the Cardinals as they shot a season-best round score of 325 across the 18 holes. It was five strokes lower than their previous best, set during the first round of the Charleston Invitational, when they shot a combined 330, as they continue to show that they can drop their scores.
Leading the way once again was senior Emily Holzopfel, who finished the round one event with a combined score of 77. She earned MEC Women’s Golfer of the Week honors for the second week in a row as she finished fifth overall at the event. After a slow start, hitting double bogey and bogey on the first two holes, Holzopfel battled back with three birdies and 10 pars to finish at +5 for the event. It was the senior’s second straight top five finish at the tournament as she continues to prepare and defend her MEC Women’s Golfer of the Year title.
Behind Holzopfel, two more Cardinals set season-best efforts as seniors Zoila Herrera and freshman Marra Johnson finished in a tie for 16th and 21st respectively. Zoila Herrera set a season-low when she shot 81 at the event with two birdies and 10 pars in what was a bounce back effort after being sick the first two tournaments of the year. Johnson put together a career-best 82 in her third collegiate invitational and got off to the best start out of the team players, shooting par on the first hole of the day. Both players will be big parts of the Cardinals success at the MEC Championships.
The team performance was encouraging for the Cardinals as they put together their best performance against some of the same teams they faced in their first tournament of the season. They jumped one place from that opening tournament and lowered their score 19 strokes from that first invitational of the year. Wheeling looks to drop their scores one more time in this final tune-up and they look for consistency against tough regional opponents.
The Eagle Invitational will be played at the beautiful Ashland Golf Course in Ashland, Ohio. The par 73, 18-hole course features rolling terrain, tree-lined fairways, fabulous greens, and breathtaking scenery. The golfers will be challenged throughout the afternoon as they try to consistently hit the greens, avoid the trees, and sand traps laid throughout the course.
This will be the Cardinal’s first trip to the Ashland Golf Course since the 2015-16 season when they played in this same Eagle Invitational. Wheeling finished second among the 11 teams competing and had two golfers finish in the event’s top 10. Former Cardinal Kasey Frazier led the way for the Cardinals, shooting a 152, while teammate Kanaida Mills added a 160 across the two-day tournament.
Tee-off for day one of the Eagle Invitational is scheduled for 9 AM at the Ashland Golf Club. Follow along with wucardinals.com all day for updates and a full recap of the Day one events.