Freshman Doyle leads MSSU women to 4th-place finish

Apr. 25—Missouri Southern State University women's golf was led this week by a top-5 finish from freshman Emmerson Doyle to place fourth in the MIAA conference tournament at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar, Missouri.

The Lions jumped two spots on the final day of the tournament to take fourth with a plus-56 for the three-day event. That three-day total of 920 was just two strokes behind Northeastern State University for third place and four strokes behind Rogers State University for second. The University of Central Missouri took home the trophy with a total score of 907.

Doyle led the field — along with Marelda Ayal of RSU — with a 1-under 71 on Wednesday. That Day 3 performance catapulted both players from a tie for 12th place to a tie for third.

"Emmerson Doyle is a rising star. She will be someone that everyone is going to know her name. She's going to win golf tournaments. She's very dedicated," Mik

That top-5 finish led the Lions to their fourth-place finish. That took the team up two spots from sixth place — where it was after Day 2.

MSSU now awaits the NCAA's announcement of regional teams to see if its season will continue for one more event or not.

Not only did Doyle lead the field with her performance but the team had the best Day 3 performance of the 11-team field. MSSU shot 297 while RSU shot 299 as the only teams to finish with a sub-300 score on Wednesday.

"Conditions were improved from the first two days as the winds were less. They putted better. We had less three-puts," Wheeler said.

The best rounds of the tournament came in Day 2 as Nebraska-Kearney (sixth place) shot a tournament-best 295 and UCM (first place) was right behind with a 296.

The Lions' Day 1 score of 315 held them back from finishing higher in the tournament. Day 2 saw them shave seven strokes off their total at 308. Then Day 3 was 11 strokes better than that.

UNK struggled as a team, but Julian Botero Molina led the Lopers with a first-place finish and a three-day total of 223. Second place was UCM's Maya McVey with 224. Then Doyle and Ayal came in with a 225 along with UCM's Mia Rallo. The Jennies had three individuals in the top 10 as Hayley Jones took sixth place with a 226.

MSSU's freshman Katarina Chynoranksa finished in 19th place with a plus-17 233. Junior Lily Allman shot 18 strokes over par for a 234 and finished tied for 22nd. Junior Aida Nunez was tied for 27th with a 19-over par. Senior Iratxe Fernandez-Cano Aldasoro was tied for 30th at 21-over par.

The future of this women's golf team may be bright after the performances this week from the two freshmen plus still having multiple upperclassmen returning. Fernandez-Cano Aldasoro is listed as a senior but has a year of eligibility remaining and could play one more season if she chooses to.

"Moving forward, not only is it this group but several others that are freshmen are on the cusp of making the top five on the team," Wheeler said about the future of the team. "We will have two to three seniors, all the freshmen and two junior transfers joining this team.

"I think we're leaving the next coach with a team that can go win some tournaments."