Struggles continue at invitational

The Rutgers women's golf team continued a busy month of competition this weekend as the Scarlet Knights finished 14th at the UC Women's Spring Invitational, hosted by the University of Cincinnati in Crystal River, Fla. 

It is the second tournament of the season that the Knights have failed to finish in the top 10.

Despite not being able to accomplish her goal of a top-10 finish, head coach Maura Waters Ballard is not disappointed.

"I wasn't unsatisfied because it was a very tough field. There were a lot of teams that have been playing for longer than we have this season," Ballard said.

The Knights overall team score of 982 was well off of first place Baylor's 918.

Individually, freshman Elizabeth Carl and team captain Jeanne Waters led the knights with scores of 241 and 242, respectively. Both of their scores were good enough for top-50 finishes. Ballard recognized their consistency throughout the season. 

"Both Jeanne and Lizzie [Carl] have been very consistent, and this time was no different," Ballard said. 

Ballard looks to motivate her entire team to the level of Carl and Waters by not using a set lineup for every tournament. 

"I take whoever is playing well and whoever earns a spot by qualifying," she said. 

For Ballard, the constantly changing lineup is not a sign of panic or uncertainty; it reflects the depth of her team.

Of the other athletes competing for Rutgers, Daley Owens was the only one able to come close to a top-50 finish. Her score of 248 allowed her to place 52nd.

In addition to the continuous competition for playing time, Ballard recognizes that her team still has a lot of work to do. 

"The list of things to improve could be given alphabetically, numerically or any other way. First and foremost, we just need to continue practicing and getting into shape," Ballard said. 

Rutgers will continue a hectic stretch at the Georgetown Invitational in Washington, D.C. on March 30 and 31. 

Ballard acknowledged that the schedule is difficult but recognized that the team can still be successful. "There are going to be some pretty good teams there [Georgetown Invitational] and we have already had a pretty tough schedule, but a top-10 finish is definitely feasible," she said. 

Despite the disappointing finishes the team has remained motivated. 

"The whole team is still focused and ready to compete on Monday," Ballard said.

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