College Women

Women's preview: No. 4 USC

Sophia Popov is among the returners for USC this season.
Sophia Popov is among the returners for USC this season. ( Tracy Wilcox )

Thursday, September 6, 2012

4. USC

2011-12 Golfweek rank: 3

Go-to girl: Doris Chen

Season outlook: USC starts the fall like it ended the spring: with a squad of five. Assuming the Trojans stay healthy, there’s enough talent (Chen, Sophia Popov and freshman Kyung Kim) to fare just fine against deeper rosters. Junior Rachel Morris and walk-on freshman Kim Santiago complete the lineup, and more help is on the way: Talented frosh Annie Park is set to arrive in January.

For anyone who thinks USC won’t rise to the occasion this fall, just look at what head coach Andrea Gaston did with five players last spring. Her team won the NCAA Central Regional by 25 shots before finishing runner-up by one stroke at the NCAA Championship. USC can compete with any team in the country week in, week out, and might even have the potential to find a win this fall.