No. 6 Auburn falls to top-ranked Stanford in NCAA Championship quarterfinals


CARLSBAD, Calif. – No. 6 Women's golf dropped its match to No. 1 Stanford on Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championship by a 4-1-0 score at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Champions Course in Carlsbad, California.

Stanford jumped out to an early lead in the opening holes on Tuesday before Auburn fought back to take the lead in three matches at one point. The Cardinal then came back to close out three matches, including one that required an extra hole, to win and advance to the national semifinals.

"Anna Davis got down a couple early and kind of chipped away and fought back," said Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen. "I hate that she lost the 18th hole and then had to go to the first [extra] hole to continue. I know she's very disappointed with her result, because if we grab that match then there's hope and anything can happen on this golf course.
"We kept fighting. A couple little things here and there, it just doesn't take much on this course. If you steer a little right or left, it will set you up in some precarious situations and you've got to have a great short game around here. Hats off to Stanford, as I thought their short game was really good and that was the difference."

Megan Schofill closed out her collegiate career with a win on Tuesday over Paula Martin Sampedro. After surrendering the first hole to Martin Sampedro, Schofill came back with three consecutive wins which included a two on the par-3 third hole to take a 2-up lead through four holes.

Martin Sampedro fought back with wins on No. 10 and No. 11, but the Auburn senior won another three consecutive holes to take a commanding 3-up lead. Schofill was leading by that score on the 16th tee when the match was abandoned.

Stanford's Rachel Heck jumped out to an early lead on Anna Foster and was the first match to finish at 4&3 to give the Cardinal its first match win of the morning.

Auburn freshman Anna Davis was 2-down to Sadie Englemann twice during the opening nine, but came back to take the match lead with wins on No. 9, No. 11 and No. 13. On the 13th hole, Davis stuck her approach to within 10 feet for an impressive three.

Englemann got the momentum back with a win on the 18th hole to force the match into extra holes, where Englemann won the match on the first extra hole, the par-3 16th hole.
Sophomore Katie Cranston took a 1-up lead in her match against Kelly Xu with back-to-back wins on No. 5 and No. 6 before Xu came back to take a 3-up lead. With a 3-up lead, Xu claimed No. 16 to win 4&2 and clinch the team match win for the Cardinal.

Casey Weidenfeld was 2-down to Megha Ganne through 15 holes when her match was abandoned.

Auburn's season comes to a close as a national quarterfinalist. The team finished as quarterfinalists in 2021 as well as semifinalists in 2019 and 2022.

"La Costa has been fantastic, and I think it's a great venue for our Championship," Luellen said about the golf course. "I would vote for keeping it here for a very long time, even though we have to travel far. It's a great stroke-play course, it's a great match-play course, we're staying on property here and the weather is great, so there are so many positives. It's been a great week."

This season, The Tigers captured two tournament victories at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic and the NCAA Auburn Regional. Auburn also finished within the top-5 in nine tournaments. 

Auburn vs. Stanford matches:

Anna Davis (AUB) vs. Sadie Englemann (STAN)L, 19 holes
Anna Foster (AUB) vs. Rachel Heck (STAN)L, 4&3
Katie Cranston (AUB) vs. Kelly Xu (STAN)L, 4&2
Casey Weidenfeld (AUB) vs. Megha Ganne (STAN)L, 2-down
Megan Schofill (AUB) vs. Paula Martin Sampedro (STAN)W, 3-up