In 2014-15, Ashland University's women's golf team earned a tie for its highest-ever Division II finish when it placed ninth at the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championships.
What will the Eagle women do for an encore in 2015-16? The road to possibly besting that finish begins with five fall-season tournaments – including two at home – that will prepare them for the championship season in the spring.
When second-year head coach Kory Oslie was asked what it would take to perhaps best last season's showing, he said, "By working really hard and keeping that as one of our goals, putting in the time and the effort. Obviously, we have some experience coming back. We have three out of our top five coming back. So, hopefully, some of these new players can step up and fill some of those shoes.
"Right now, we're going through qualifying, trying to find out who can step up and help fill in those shoes, get some experience for the new players."
Ashland will be paced by senior Ali Green and juniors Kaitlin Neumann and Emily Jereb. Green's average round has gone down each of her first three collegiate seasons, and it was 77.7 as a junior. She had three rounds of par or better in 2014-15, and earned a pair of individual medalist honors.
"There's basically no limit. She is a workhorse. She puts in so much time and effort," Oslie said. "She can be whatever she wants to be. She's put in the time and the hard work in the offseason. She has the potential to be one of the best players in Division II."
Neumann shaved 1½ strokes off of her average round as a sophomore (78.4), and Jereb took nearly two strokes off her average (82.9) from her freshman campaign.
"Kaitlin's right there with Ali," said Oslie. "I'm looking for those two to kind of push each other even further…and elevate their game. Emily's really coming on strong. I'm hoping that she steps up and fills one of those roles…and help us toward our ultimate goal of getting to nationals."
"They've showed flashes of game already this year. Just have to get the consistency down," Oslie said of the rookies. "I brought these girls in because they showed interest in wanting that opportunity, and they're going to get that opportunity to come in and step up and play a big role on our team."
Ashland will begin the 2015-16 season with the Eagle Invitational, Saturday (Sept. 19) and Sunday (Sept. 20) at Mohican Hills Golf Club.