Women of Troy climb ranks on day two

The No. 1 women’s golf team climbed up the leader board on the second day of the 2010 NCAA Fall Preview, but still finds itself five strokes behind No. 4 Alabama going into the final round today.

Locked in · Sophomore Cyna Rodriguez finished tied for 15th with a 2-under-par 142 after two days at the 2010 NCAA Fall Preview. - Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information

The Women of Troy are in third place at 5-under-par 571 (289-282). With three of four scoring players improving from their first round, the team is in position to make a run for first place in the final round.

“We’d like to win, but the important thing this early is to get better,” USC coach Andrea Gaston said.

The scores improved yesterday because the Women of Troy had three golfers under par, as opposed to one during the first round.

For the second day in a row, senior Lizette Salas walked away with the lowest score on the team. Salas is tied for fourth individually at 4-under-par 140 (70-70). She sits two strokes behind Marina Alex of Vanderbilt and Brooke Pancake of Alabama.

Sophomore Cyna Rodriguez finished tied for 15th at 2-under-par 142 (72-70). Four birdies helped Rodriguez overcome an early double bogey for her second under-par round of the year.

Two strokes behind Rodriguez is junior transfer Lisa McCloskey at even-par 144 (74-70). McCloskey’s two-bogey, four-birdie round propelled her into a tie for 21st, nine spots up from day one.

McCloskey sits one stroke above freshman Rachel Morris, who is tied for 24th at 1-over-par 145 (73-72). Morris started strong with back-to-back birdies on holes five and six, but undid them with a double bogey on hole nine.

Freshman Sophia Popov rounds out the roster at 7-over-par 151 (75-76), good for a tie for 54th. Two bogeys and a double bogey over a stretch of four holes proved to be Popov’s undoing in the second round of her collegiate debut.

The Traditions Golf Club in College Station, Texas is the site of the NCAA championship in May 2011. The team cannot predict the conditions it will see in May, but adjusting to the mid-90-degree heat and high humidity will be key for success. The Women of Troy have a history of success in College Station, winning an NCAA regional there in 2006.

The tournament wraps up today and the Women of Troy will go right back to work.

“We look at their stats, and see what areas need a little attention, and see what we need to work on,” Gaston said. “The only way we know what we need to work on is to play in tournaments.”