It was a stellar finish to an incredible career in the Green and White for senior Allyssa Ferrell.
With her top 10 finish, Ferrell became just the third Spartan in Michigan State history to finish in the top 10 individually at Nationals.
Ferrell was dominant throughout all four rounds, no matter the conditions. The Spartans had two rough rounds on the first and third days of the tournament as a team, but Ferrell kept them in the hunt throughout those days. While the rest of the team on those two days shot a combined 46-over-par, Ferrell shot a one-over-par on the two toughest days of the tournament.
Ferrell shot back-to-back one-under-par 69s on Tuesday and Wednesday, the best rounds of any woman golfer to ever play for Michigan State during Nationals.
Liz Nagel was another senior coming in with three Big Ten Championships to her credit, and a spectacular career no matter the outcome of this tournament.
Nagel was up to the final challenge presented in her career as she scored the second-best finish of any Spartan in this year’s tournament, a 15-over-par 295 (76-70-78-71).
With the solid mark in the final tournament of her career, Nagel finished with a career stroke average of 75.65 per round, the fourth-best in the illustrious history of Spartan women’s golf.
Senior Christine Meier was able to overcome her disastrous first round, a 12-over-par 82, with three solid rounds in her final three opportunities. Meier shot a combined plus-11 in her final three rounds, to finish with a career stroke average of 76.59, good for tenth in the Spartan record books.
While this may be disconcerting to see three top 10 Spartan golfers leave, there is no reason to fear as two incredibly talented freshman have long careers ahead of them.
Freshman Kelly Grassel tied Nagel for the best score in the final round of the season, which was also her personal best in any of the rounds at Nationals, a one-over-par 71. With Grassel’s conclusion of her first year of collegiate golf, she ends with a 75.40 stroke average, the best for any freshman in the history of MSU women’s golf.
Redshirt freshman Gabby Yurik will also be assigned a big role for the next season as she will no longer be one of the new kids on the block.
Yurik did not see much time until the end of the year, but played crucial roles in the second place finish at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, as well as Big Ten Championships and Regionals.
Yurik had her jitters in the first National Championship round of her career, appearing as if the stage was too big for her with her 13-over-par 83. After the round, Yurik settled down quite nicely, to post scores of 74, 80 and 75 to finish with a 72-hole score of 312.
One of the keys to the upcoming year is head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. Slobodnik-Stoll has five Big Ten Championships, 16-straight Regional Championship appearances, and has taken the Spartans to Nationals in three of the past four seasons. Slobodnik-Stoll is known for getting the most out of her players, and for being consistent in every season.
With a fantastic 2014 season in the rearview mirror, the Spartans can feel good about where they are headed in 2015.
Tony Garcia is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State University Women’s Golf