In the first of our breakdown of the country’s 30 best women’s college golf squads, we begin with the Wolfpack of N.C. State.
30. North Carolina State
2011-12 Golfweek rank: 23
Go-to girl: Brittany Marchand
Season outlook: In its maiden trip to the NCAA Championship last spring, North Carolina State found that its strength was with the members of its Canadian contingent, which made up 80 percent of a team that finished 13th at the national championship. And they’re all back this season.
Augusta James was a major contributor during her freshman season, finishing the year with a stroke average of 74.1, barely ahead of Brittany Marchand (74.9), now a junior. Those two combined for eleventh-hour birdies at the NCAA Central Regional last spring to get the Wolfpack into nationals.
Marchand, who last year became the first N.C. State player to win twice in one season, has had a stellar summer, which bodes well for the Wolfpack. She won the Ontario Amateur, and teammates James and Vivian Tsui also finished in the top 10.
North Carolina State excelled at making school history last year. It should make this season, head coach Page Marsh’s 13th at the Wolfpack helm, seem easy in comparison. Keep in mind, the Wolfpack had three regular-season victories, too.
Bottom line, North Carolina State has the talent to repeat last year’s success, and now has the knowledge to improve. This is a squad that clearly shouldn’t change its game plan.