SUGAR GROVE, Ill. -- In the NCAA Quarterfinals' most compelling match of the day, Ohio State dropped a 3-1-1 decision to Southern California. The Buckeyes finished 54 holes of stroke play in fourth place to match the school's best standing at the NCAA Championships (also placed fourth in 2003) and earn the match play bracket's No. 4 seed. Just one hole separated Ohio State and the Trojans in a back-and-forth affair broadcast on the national stage by Golf Channel.
Niki Schroeder was first tee off for the Buckeyes, running into an absolute buzzsaw in USC's Victor Morgan who shot five-under in 15 holes played. It became obvious Morgan was on fire early on as Schroeder's eagle on the Par-5 11th (match started on the Back 9) was mirrored by Morgan's eagle. Schroeder put up a valiant extinguishing effort before ultimately falling 4&3.
Jessica Porvasnik took the second hole and never trailed throughout en route to a dominating 5&4 triumph over Muni He. Porvasnik improved to 4-0-2 in match play this season and wraps up her collegiate career at 5-1-3.
Jaclyn Lee and Gabriella Then may have been the third pairing to tee off, but their match never ended as it spilled over into extra holes. Lee owned an advantage for the vast majority of the morning, including a three-hole edge thru 12 holes before Then pulled even on the 17th and remained there after the 19th when the team match was decided. Lee went 3-1-2 this season in match play.
Rio Watanabe and Katja Pogacar ventured on similar voyages in arriving on the wrong end of 1UP final ledgers. Both Buckeyes missed potential match-extending putts by a mere inch or two on the final hole.
Southern California def. Ohio State, 3-1-1
Victor Morgan (USC) def. Niki Schroeder (OSU), 4&3
Jessica Porvasnik (OSU) def. Muni He (USC), 5&3
Jaclyn Lee (OSU) vs. Gabriella Then (USC), all-square thru 19
Robynn Ree (USC) def. Rio Watanabe (OSU), 1UP
Tiffany Chan (USC) def. Katja Pogacar (OSU), 1UP
-Ohio State's fourth place finish is tied for the highest in school history following stroke play at the NCAA Championships (also placed fourth in 2003).
-This marks Ohio State's seventh Top-10 finish all-time at the NCAA Championships, all under the direction of OSU Hall of Fame head coach Therese Hession.