USC 5th Midway Through NCAA Women's Golf Championships

May 23, 2007

Junior Paola Moreno, in pursuit of USC's fourth individual NCAA championship, is within range of first place after a par second round while the No. 4 USC women's golf team is fifth overall after the second round of the 2007 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Wednesday (May 23) at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.

USC, the 2003 NCAA title winner, enjoyed a two-stroke lead after the first round but lost ground in the second round and fell back with a combined 18-over 306 for a two-day 25-over 601 (295-306).

Still, the Trojans are in the championship hunt. Two-time defending champion Duke, which joined USC and Stanford as a threesome for the second day in a row, leads the field at 11-over 587 after a 1-under 287 second round. UCLA moved into second (+18, 303-291-594) and is followed by Purdue (+21, 303-294-597), Stanford (+23, 299-300-599) and USC. The rest of the top 10 includes Georgia (+26, 303-299-602), Louisville (+27, 297-306-603), Pepperdine (+29, 306-299-605), Arizona State (+29, 307-298-605), TCU (+30, 307-299-606) and Wake Forest (+30, 306-300-606).

'After a great first round, we had high expectations for today to put up another low score, but unfortunately, that's not what happened,' 11th-year USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. 'We had a momentum switch. The putts and shots that we made yesterday, Duke was making those today. But tomorrow is a new day and we plan to be in the final pairing on Friday.'

Moreno and senior Catalina Marin both improved upon their opening rounds, the former firing a par 72 while the latter edged up to a 4-over 76.

Moreno, ranked No. 10 in the country by Golfweek.com, bogeyed the 1st hole but got back to par with a birdie on 4. She remained at par through the 11th hole before a bogey on 12, but got the stroke back with a birdie on 14. She shot par for the rest of the round for her 72 and a two-day 145 (+1), tied for eighth.

The Colombian junior feels good about USC's prospects to rebound as a team.

'We have 36 holes left, so we need to come back with a strong round on Thursday,' she said. 'We're excited for tomorrow. We just need to forget about today and do our best.'

Within striking distance of the individual lead, Moreno is looking to maintain her steady play. She is four shots behind leader Christel Boeljon of Purdue (-3, 72-62-141).

'I played pretty solidly today,' she said. 'I missed a couple of birdie opportunities, but I made a couple as well. I was striking the ball pretty well and worked hard with my chipping near the green.

'I am not looking at the leaderboard. I just play. There's nothing else I can do. If I see the board, I just keep walking by it. Whether you're first or last, you just need to play the next hole as well as you can.'

Marin's second round saw bogeys on the 4th and 6th holes on the front 9. She was making par on her scorecard for everything else until a couple of hiccups on the final two holes. She is tied for 48th at 9-over 153.

Junior Dewi Claire Schreefel, the defending NCAA individual champion, posted a 6-over 78 for a two-day, 10-over 154 and is tied for 55th. She was 3-over on both the front and back 9.

Freshman Belen Mozo finished with an 8-over 80 and is 11-over 155 for the tournament, tied for 63rd. She was 4-over on both the front and back 9.

Senior Veronica Felibert, who shot a 1-under 71 on Tuesday to lead the Trojans, fell back with a 9-over 81 on Wednesday and is tied for 36th with an 8-over 152 overall.

Action continues Thursday and Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. EDT.

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