The Florida Southern women's golf team ended the first semester with a win at the Newberry College Invitational, and the strong finish allowed the Moccasins to finish the fall portion of their schedule No. 13 in the Golfstat team rankings. (There is no national coaches' poll in Division II women's golf.) Four Moccasin golfers are also listed in the individual rankings, led by sophomore Amanda Gartrell at No. 23.
As they normally do, the Sunshine State Conference schools dominate the November 1 rankings, even though the University of Indianapolis is currently number one. The SSC has Nova Southeastern at No. 2, Saint Leo at No. 4, Barry at No. 5, Lynn at No. 6, Rollins at No. 10, Tampa at No. 11, and Florida Southern at No. 13. No other league in the country has anywhere close to that number of teams in the top-25, much less among the top 13.
The Golfstat rankings take into account a variety of performance factors throughout the season, among them scoring average, the adjusted average for each team's dropped score (the fifth golfer in each round), as well as strength of schedule and event wins. Florida Southern is among the best teams in the country in all of those categories. Their adjusted scoring average is 75.38, which puts them among a large number of teams that fall between 75.0 and 76.0. Dallas Baptist leads the country with a 73.09 average, and along with Indianapolis is one of only two teams with an average under 74.50. The next 18 teams on the list are within a stroke-and-a-half of each other.
The Moccasins are even better when their adjusted drop score is factored in to the rankings. They're No. 12 in that category, a list again topped by Dallas Baptist at 77.46, and the Moccasins are in front of four schools that are ahead of them in the overall rankings. Only six teams are under 79.50.
According to the Golfstat rankings, Rollins and Lynn rate the highest in strength of schedule, while Florida Southern's schedule is ahead of three other schools that are ranked in the top-10 overall.
Florida Southern had its best performance earlier this week by winning the Newberry College Invitational, but they also started the fall by placing second at the Lady Falcon Invitational hosted by Daytona State. In that tournament, the Moccasins defeated Saint Leo (ranked No. 4) and Tampa (ranked No. 11), as well as Division I Florida Atlantic. They also had a third-place finish in the Battle at Old South where they were just four shots behind Saint Leo, and ahead of three other top-25 teams.
Gartrell's No. 23 ranking is the highest for a Moccasin individual, but Florida Southern has six players among the nation's top Division II golfers, with Golfstat ranking the top 150. Junior Tori Higgins is No. 76, senior Abbey Williams is No. 109, freshman Ashley Zagers and junior Madison Wetzel are at 123 and 124 respectively, and freshman Shelby Lewis is 145. That's the most for any school in the Sunshine State Conference, with the other 10 schools averaging a little over three in the top-150. The six Moccasins also match the number of Greyhounds on that list from top-ranked Indianapolis.
The top-ranked golfer in Division II is senior Paloma Vaccaro from West Florida, but she is the only Argonaut on the list of 150.