Stevens: Trujillo's Golfers Open at UCF Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/08/2014

New Mexico Lobos Women’s Golf – at UCF Classic --- Orlando, Fla.

When/Where:  Sunday thru Tuesday (Feb 9-11) – Eagle Creek Golf Club (6,349 yards, par 72)

The Field & Fall Rankings: No 21 Kentucky, 22 Iowa State, 26 UCF, 29 Tulane, 33 Miami, 43. SMU, 45. Wisconsin, 48. GRU Augusta, 50. ETSU, 53. East Carolina,  57. Georgia State,  58. Texas State,  62. Minnesota,  65. New Mexico,  68. Campbell,  71. FIU,  97. Western Carolina,  105. Kennesaw State,  123. USF.

Lobo Roster:  Sammi Stevens, Sr., Manon De Roey, Sr., Katerina Jaeger, Fr., Manon Molle, Fr., Eva Saulnier, Fr.

By Richard Stevens/Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

The teams for the Lobos to beat in the UCF Classic in Orlando, Fla., already have been marked by what they have done in the fall.  Kentucky, Iowa State and UCF enter spring ball in the Top 25.

But UCF already has made another statement in the spring.  The Knights won the Florida Shootout by two shots over Florida State and look to post back-to-back victories beginning Sunday in their UCF Classic.

Of course, Jill Trujillo would love to see her Lobos beat the Knights and everyone else, but she says this is an important tournament for her old/young Lobos simply to put a number of teams behind New Mexico on the final scoreboard.

“It’s an important tournament for us,” said Trujillo.  “We need to beat some of these teams here and improve our rankings.”

The Lobos left fall ball with a ranking of 65 and there are 13 teams in the 19-team field on that list ahead of the Lobos.  Kentucky left the fall season with a No. 21 ranking, Iowa State was No. 22 and UCF was No. 26, before being bumped to No. 24 after the Florida Shootout win.  Tulane was No. 29 at the end of the fall season.

The Florida Shootout was a one-day, 36-hole warm-up for spring competition, but a win is a win and the Knights should be confident heading into their home event.

"It's a great way to start our spring season," said USF head coach Emily Marron. “It was a true team effort.”

A team effort is what New Mexico wants and needs on the 6,349-yard, par-72 Eagle Creek Golf Club.  The Lobos are led by two solid seniors in Sammi Stevens and Manon De Roey.  But Trujillo also is packing the bags of three freshmen on the Lobos’ first trip of spring competition: Katerina Jaeger, Manon Molle and Eva Saulnier.

Welcome to college ball, Eva!  This Lobo freshman joined the team in January, probably hasn’t yet decided if she is “red or green” on the chile questions and already she is on the Lobos’ five-man roster at the D-I level.

“She shot well enough to qualify for the top five,” said Trujillo. “We are very excited to start the spring season.  It’s a good 19-team field and a lot of the teams we don’t get to see because we stay out West most of the time.

“It will be interesting to get a different perspective playing some of these teams from the East.  I have three freshmen in the lineup and sometimes freshmen just show up and play.”

The Lobos left Albuquerque a day earlier just in case they hit travel woes heading back east.  And they did: a two-hour weather delay in Kansas City.

The Lobos play a practice round on Saturday with a 9 a.m. (ET) shotgun start slated for Sunday and Monday.  The final round on Tuesday begins at 8:30 a.m.

The UCF Knights are calling the Eagle Creek Golf Club their home this season for the first time but Coach Marron said: “the team has had the chance to play it a lot this year and we feel comfortable there.  We are coming off of a great win at the Florida Challenge and feel we can use that confidence and momentum to our advantage this weekend."