Gamecocks Cruise Past South Dakota State, 15-1, in NCEA First Round
April 13, 2017
WACO, Texas — The University of South Carolina equestrian team breezed through the opening round of the 2017 NCEA Championship on Thursday, dropping South Dakota State 15-1, at the Extraco Events Center. With the win, the sixth-seeded Gamecocks advance to Friday’s quarterfinals, where they will face No. 3 Auburn.
The Gamecocks (7-8) opened the day with loads of momentum after sweeping all four points in their first event, equitation over fences. After taking each of the four matchups by double-digit margins, Carolina had a big lead over the 11th-seeded Jackrabbits (3-9), and they never trailed. The Gamecocks also won every point in equitation on the flat and horsemanship.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Boo Major
“We made a super effort in all four events. Our riders were very focused and prepared, which made for a successful day. Hats off to Coach Sorrel, Dobbs and Slocum for doing a great job today and to our entire team for being united and positive.”
EQUITATION OVER FENCES RECAP
South Carolina needed to set the tone with a big effort in jumping, and they did just that, with four commanding victories. Sydney Smith took down Jacey Chorlton, 166-149, on Mabel, and Lizzie van der Walde earned a 172-152 victory over Alissa Greenwald on Calisto. Chloe Schmidt tallied a 172-151 win over Blair Julia Wright on Valducchy, and after a re-ride Madison Sellman completed the sweep with a 167-156 victory on Charm over Jessica Martinez.
Three more Gamecocks were victorious in the first western event of the day. Paisley Roberts took a 139-131 win over Nicole Harvey on Gunner, and Jordan Scott took the point in her nationals debut, 138-133 over Miranda Sullivan on KC. Last but not least, SEC Rider of the Year and First Team All-American Caroline Gute grabbed a win in her first NCEA Championship ride, 138.5-138, over Alicia Johnson on Remy.
Midway through the meet, Carolina held a 7-1 lead and needed just two points to clinch a quarterfinal spot.
EQUITATION ON THE FLAT RECAP
After the intermission, Carolina won all four points on the flat. Smith took down Chorlton, 159-136 on Z, and Schmidt was a 174-148 victor on Sparky over Jessica Andronowitz. Lauren Fabiano defeated Natalie Howard on Roman, 158-119, and van der Walde capped it off with a 165-141 win on Bunni over Taylor Duerr.
All four Gamecocks were big winners in the last event of the day. Bailey Mierzejewski rode Snip to a 148-139 win over Jordan Gates, and Paige Stopperich earned a 140-139 win over Kelsey Swainston on Murphy. Ashley Reichert took down Victoria Johnson, 147.5-144, on Lexi, and in the final battle Madison Thiel brought home a 143.5-140 win on Beau over Nicole Siebold.
â€¢ South Carolina is now 6-2 all-time in the combined format at the NCEA Championship, and they have won all seven meetings against South Dakota State.
â€¢ Carolina’s 14-point margin of victory was their largest ever in the 16-point NCEA nationals format and the team’s biggest margin of victory overall since a 17-2 win over Delaware State on Feb. 7, 2015.
â€¢ Gute’s victory was her 10th of the season, while Schmidt took home her 11th flat victory of 2016-17.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina and Auburn will face off Friday, beginning at approximately 9:05 a.m. CT in the quarterfinals. The Gamecocks will be on the same schedule as Thursday: equitation over fences begins at approximately 9:05 a.m. CT, with reining at approximately 11:20 a.m., equitation on the flat at approximately 1:40 p.m., and horsemanship at approximately 4:15 p.m.
The Gamecocks will be looking for their first win of the season over Auburn after the Tigers earned a 13-5 win on Nov. 18 and a 10-8 victory Feb. 25 at One Wood Farm.