This season’s MSU Women’s Golf Team is trying to overcome the loss of star golfer, Caroline Powers. Caroline is one of the best women’s golfers in Michigan State history. She is first all time in scoring average at 74.39 over her career. She also holds the single-season record for scoring average at 73.53. Powers wasn’t shorted on hardware: she is a two time Honorable Mention All-American, two time First Team All Big Ten, and two time winner of the George Alderton Award. The George Alderton Award goes to the Michigan State female athlete of the year, and Powers is one of five to win this award more than once.
This year’s team is led by three seniors that are determined to continue the successful standard that Powers has set for the program. With the teams third place finish at the Central District Invitational, they are off to a great start. At the invitational, the Spartans set a new school record for lowest team 54-hole score, 15 under 849. Only Vanderbilt and Central Florida found themselves ahead of the Spartans on the leader board. The Lady Spartans are currently ranked 26 by GolfWeek.
Head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said of her team’s effort, “The theme of that day…was don’t ever put a cap on your potential.”
The Spartans were led by senior Allyssa Ferrell, who had a stellar weekend performance. She tied the school’s 18-hole scoring record and broke Powers’ 54-hole scoring record the next day with a final tournament score of 9 under 207. As great of a weekend it was for Ferrell, she was still frustrated with parts of it. She tied for first with Vanderbilt’s Simin Feng, and lost in a scorecard playoff. Personally, I don’t understand how they don’t have a real playoff. Ferrell missed a 12-foot birdie putt on 18 for the outright tournament win. She also had to take one of the most frustrating penalties in golf on the 12 hole, an unplayable ball because it was caught under the lip of the bunker. She finished the hole with a bogey 6.
Ferrell talked about her time at Michigan State nearing an end, “Over winter break, my dad and I were talking about (having) one semester left. If you’re ever going to do anything to leave a mark at Michigan State, now is the time to do it.” Ferrell has officially left her mark, she now holds the 18-hole scoring record, 54-hole scoring record, and is part of the 54-hole team scoring record.
It wasn’t a one golfer show for the Spartans, fellow seniors Christine Meier and Liz Nagel also place in the top 10 for the tournament. They tied for 10 with a 3 under score of 213. All three seniors plan on turning professional after graduation. Nagel is a top-50 player and will remain an amateur until after this June’s World University Games in Switzerland. Last fall Meier made it to the final stage of LPGA Q-School, one of the most strenuous and competitive atmospheres of golf one will ever see.
Ferrell has grown in her years at Michigan State, and has some positive ‘Zen’ like life advice, “The biggest thing I’ve grown personally from is just beginning to understand that where you are, that’s where you belong.”