TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – An extremely successful fall season, which saw the Florida State women’s golf team earn one team championship and three top two team finishes in four events, has the Seminoles brimming with confidence and ready to tee off the spring season at the Florida Challenge at the Black Diamond Golf Club in Lecanto, Fla., on Monday. The one-day, 36-hole event includes six of the Division I women’s golf teams in the state of Florida and is the beginning of what the Seminoles hope will be one of the most successful spring seasons in the recent history of the program.
The Seminoles are looking to play in their school-record 11th consecutive NCAA Championship tournament and are aiming to extend their season by an extra week this year as they play for their first appearance in the NCAA championship finals for the first time since 2010.
“Our goal every year is to play for a national championship,” said sixth-year head coach Amy Bond, who has led the Seminoles to the NCAA Tournament in each of her first five seasons as the head coach at her alma mater. “In order for us to make it to the national championships we have to get better every week. To play for the national championship we have to qualify from regionals to play in the championship round. I am confident that this year is the year we make the turn and earn our way into the final week of play.”
Bond’s has many reasons to be optimistic as the Seminoles open the spring season.
As a team, Florida State ranked second among the 11 women’s golf playing schools in the ACC with a 289.7 stroke average during the fall season. The Seminoles and Duke (currently ranked second nationally by GolfStat) were the only two teams in the ACC to finish with team stroke averages below 290. The Seminoles were one of four teams in the ACC (also Duke, Louisville and Notre Dame) to earn a fall team championship and the Seminoles are one of only two teams in the conference (also Duke) who had three players ranked in the top 10 scoring averages during the fall season (juniors Matilda Castren and Lydia Gumm and sophomore Kim Metraux).
Among her many reasons to be optimistic is Seminoles’ current standing in the ACC which has long been considered to be the top women’s golf league in the nation.
Castren, who earned All-American honors in 2014, and Gumm, who earned All-ACC honors in 2015, will continue to anchor the Seminoles this spring. Castren ranked second in the ACC with a 71.73 stroke average while Gumm was ranked ninth with a 72.78 stroke average. Metraux was ranked fifth with a 71.91 average. Castren (one individual championship and three top 10 finishes), Metraux (two top 10 finishes) and Gumm (one top 10 finish) are three of the premier golfers in the ACC.
“I’m really excited to start the spring season,” said Gumm. “We have all been working hard and we are excited to see where we stand against the top teams in the state.” The Seminoles, who begin the spring season ranked 34th nationally, will battle No. 12 Florida, UCF, Florida International, Florida Gulf Coast and USF in the one day event.
Florida State has fared well in the short but competitive history of the Florida Challenge which is now in its fourth year. The Seminoles placed second in the team standings in 2013 and 2014 while Castren has earned a pair of top five individual finishes in her first two appearances in the event.
“We are all excited to start the spring season, said Castren. “We have bene working hard to make it the best season our team has ever had. The fall was great for us but we all know we are all capable of playing better than we did during the first semester. We are all excited to start competing again on Monday.”
The Seminoles’ lineup will consist of Castren, Gumm, Morgane Metraux, Kayla Jones and Kayla Bloor. Three Seminoles – sophomore Kim Metraux, junior Anna Sophia Böhmer and freshman Dominika Gradecka will compete as individuals as they continue to play for a spot in the Seminoles’ starting lineup.
“I really like this group of girls and the maturity they all bring to our team,” said Bond. “Every season is a new beginning and I am really happy where we are beginning this new season.”