After being in second place for much of the stroke play of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, the Kent State Golden Flashes had a bit of a hiccup. They went into a free fall, helped by 30 mile an hour winds, and barely hung on for the 8th spot. The good news is that the top 8 teams advance to the match-play portion of the competition. The bad news is that as the 8th seed, they faced local favorites the Northwestern Wildcats.
It was always going to be a tough match, with Northwestern having all 5 golfers in the top 25 of stroke place. A tough match it was, with Kent State finally falling, 3-2.
According to the write up on the Kent State Women’s Golf page, this is the first time a school from outside the Power 5 ever advanced to match play. Another interesting and exciting tidbit from the article, they return 4 of the players for 2 or more years. A top 8 finish is fantastic, and a future national title is in play.
Also from the Kent State page, Pimnipa Panthong was named a second team all-American. The freshman was named the Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Year.
Though I don’t want to jinx the team, I do feel a little bit like LeBron when he took his talents to South Beach. While it’s unlikely, it is possible that this team could win multiple national championships. I am happy with the run they made this year, and will be keeping my eye on the team from the beginning next season.