Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

NMSU women’s golf earns no. 12 seeds in Albuquerque Regional

LAS CRUCES — The New Mexico State women’s golf team will play in the Albuquerque regional, the NCAA announced in its Selection Show Wednesday afternoon.

The Aggies were named the No. 12 seed in the Albuquerque regional, where they will face off against eight schools from Power Five conferences, North Texas, Northern Arizona and fellow Western Athletic Conference school Sam Houston State. NMSU is the final seed in the 12-team regional and will compete in a postseason event in Albuquerque for the first time since 2017.

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“It’s nice to see New Mexico State up there with such big teams, and its always good to see ourselves up there, because we know that we can do some big things,” sophomore First Team All-WAC selection Alison Gastelum said. “I honestly think we can do pretty good. We’ve been working really hard this past month, and we’ve been improving a lot as a team. It’s all about putting all of our (individual) scores together.”

Alison Gastelum will compete in her second NCAA Regional in 2022.

NMSU won the WAC Championships in Kerrville, TX earlier this month after upsetting higher-seeded Sam Houston, Grand Canyon and Seattle U in conference play. The Aggies entered the tournament ranked 114 nationally and were one of the lowest-ranked teams to qualify for the NCAA Regionals.

“The fact that the girls can play well (in Albuquerque), and no one’s expecting us to finish top four as a 12 seed, we’re playing with house money at this point,” head coach Danny Bowen said. “If we can just go out and play our game, all of the pressure is on the top four, top six teams that are in our region. So if we just go out there and play like we know we can, we’ll see what happens in the end.”

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The Aggies previously played the UNM Championship Golf Course for the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Sept. 2021, where they finished +34 as a team. Bowen and Gastelum said there is a mild advantage in being familiar with the course, although it will take much more to advance.

“We feel very fortunate to have won the conference championship to advance, so that in itself was a great accomplishment for this team,” Bowen said. “From this stage on, it’s just having fun with it and doing the best we can.”

Stephen Wagner is a sports reporter for the Las Cruces Sun News. He can found on Twitter at @stephenwag22 and reached at [email protected]

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