Women's Golf Team Closes the Fall Ranked No. 10 in WGCA National Poll

Tori Higgins
Tori Higgins

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. – In the final Division II Women's Golf Coaches Association National Poll of the fall, the Florida Southern Moccasins are ranked No. 10, and remain one of eight Sunshine State Conference schools in the top-25. The Moccasins have been in the top-10 in all four polls this season.

Indianapolis remained No. 1 where it has been since the defending national champions were installed at that position in the preseason poll. Indianapolis received 12 of a possible 14 first-place votes, losing one of those to Dallas Baptist, which remained No. 2 and pulled within 11 points of the Greyhounds. Indianapolis won four of its five fall tournaments and was not beaten by a single Division II team at any point. Dallas Baptist won four of six tournaments during the fall, and was runner-up to Indianapolis in another. That was the only Division II team to finish ahead of the Patriots in any of their six tournaments, which also included a win over several SSC schools at the Rollins Legends Invitational on November 6.

Following Dallas Baptist are the first of the many SSC schools in the rankings, with Nova Southeastern at No. 3 for the third consecutive poll, Barry No. 4 for the fourth straight poll, and Rollins moving up five spots to No. 5. The Sharks are 26 points out of first, the Buccaneers are 45 back, and the Tars are 65 behind front-running Indianapolis.

Completing the new top-10 are Arkansas Tech, which dropped one spot; Grand Valley State (MI), which was tied for sixth in the previous poll, and remained in virtually the same spot; Findlay (OH), which moved up three spots to No. 8; West Texas A&M, which fell from eighth to ninth; and Florida Southern, which dropped from fifth to No. 10.

Lee (TN) was the only team to fall out of the top-10, checking in at No. 15 this week.

Other SSC schools in the new poll are No. 13 Lynn, No. 18 Florida Tech, No. 21 Saint Leo, and No. 22 Tampa.

Florida Southern, which placed second in four tournaments this fall, has been led by a trio of golfers that are incredibly within two total strokes of each other through five tournaments. Senior Tori Higgins and junior Amanda Gartrell had identical 75.54 stroke averages, and freshman Loren Perez was a hairs-breadth behind them at 75.69. They combined for seven top-10 finishes and four top-fives.

Gartrell remains the Florida Southern career leader at 75.58, and had the Mocs' best individual finish of the fall as runner-up at the Saint Leo Invitational on October 16. Higgins leads the team so far with three top-10s and had back-to-back top-fives at the Lady Falcon Invitational and the Battle at Old South. Perez has the Mocs' highest individual winning percentage at .841, was no lower than 17th in any tournament, and placed fifth at the Shark Invitational on October 9.

The Moccasins had one other top-10 finisher this fall as well, with 2018 Sunshine State Conference Freshman-of-the-Year Ashley Zagers tying for seventh at Saint Leo. Zagers played in three events with a 78.00 stroke average, and was at 76.20 in her last two tournaments.

Florida Southern returns to competition February 3-4 at the World Golf Invitational hosted by Flagler in St. Augustine, Florida.

For the complete NCAA Division II preseason poll, click here.