SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week (September 25, 2012)
Ali Kruse, Women's Golf
Following a banner week that featured two milestone performances, sophomore women’s golfer Ali Kruse (Overland Park, Kan.) emerged from a crowd of worthy candidates to capture this week’s SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week Award (9/25).
Playing in the first-ever St. John’s Intercollegiate, Kruse was a model of consistency, taking home her first career individual title after carding consecutive rounds of 74. She completed the two-day tournament four-over-par, finishing atop a field of 53 golfers. The sophomore entered the final day trailing Stephanie Eybers (St. John’s) by two strokes but made up ground with her steady play. Heading into the clubhouse, Kruse closed strong with a birdie on the 17th and a par on the final hole to end the day one stroke ahead of Eybers and Towson’s Cassandra VanDyke and claim the hardware.
Kruse’s landmark victory led the way for what was a formidable SHU contingent. The Hall placed six total golfers in the top-20, as the team came within one stroke of winning the team title for the second straight tournament. The individual title is the second for the Pirates in the program’s brief three-year history. Last season, junior Hannah Basalone (Brea, Calif.) became the first SHU women’s golfer to win a tournament title by finishing atop the leaderboard at the Lehigh invitational.
For an encore, the Overland Park native continued to make history as the team competed at the Yale Women’s Fall Intercollegiate over the weekend. After recording a five-over-par 77 in the first round, Kruse made Saturday a day to remember by setting a school record with a two-under-par 70 in the second round. She closed the weekend with a 73 and finished the tournament tied for eighth overall among 89 entrants at four-over-par (77-70-73-220). The finish marked the third consecutive time she has placed in the top-10 this fall, and was the fourth top-10 of her career.
Behind Kruse, SHU finished tied for fourth in a talent-laden field of 16 teams.
The women’s golf team has two competitive dates left on its fall schedule. After a weekend off, Kruse and the rest of the Pirates will return to the course to take part in the Rutgers Women’s Invitational. The two-day tournament will be held at Rutgers Golf course in Piscataway, N.J. on Friday, October 5 and Saturday October 6.