When it comes to the offseason, football and basketball are accustomed to holding the headlines and peaking the interest of Louisville's many devoted followers. The offseason isn't a period reserved only for the improvement of our football and basketball athletes, all student athletes are expected to reach certain goals and improve significantly in designated target areas.
The Cardinal Women's Golf program has seen a recent resurgence under the guidance of Courtney Trimble and Mary Bryan, and offseason 2015 should serve as a much needed springboard for the program as they set their sights on the 2016 National Championship.
The 2015-16 squad returns two of its top competitors, Katie Mitchell and Laura Restrepo. Both Mitchell and Restrepo are rising seniors poised to chauffeur the Lady Cards to the top of the national rankings and leave a signature mark on this emerging program. Katie Mitchell's big summer began in Ireland where she finished 15th in the Women's British Amateur and advanced to the final 16 of the match play competition. Mitchell also successfully defended her title at the First Coast Amateur in St. Augustine, Florida, and advanced to the final 16 of the North/South Women's Amateur held at historic Pinehurst #2.
Laura Restrepo has seen a blossoming of her individual skills this offseason, and was low amateur (third overall) in the Kentucky Women's Open. Restrepo has also qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur to be held in Portland, Oregon, perhaps the biggest amateur tournament of the year. Success breeds success and these two seniors are prepared for a sensational final campaign.
Two underclassmen have also enjoyed offseason success and improvement, and are looking to build off their previous experience to fill the large void left by graduated seniors Katie Petrino and Emily Haas. Sophomore to be Molly Skapik finished in the top 10 of the Kentucky Women's Open, lost in the semifinals of the Women's Western Amateur in Nashville, Tennessee, and like Restrepo, qualified for the U.S. Women's Amateur in Portland, Oregon. Junior Shannon Gramley has seen vast improvement in her short game this summer and was on track to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur as well before being defeated in the final stages by teammate Molly Skapik.
The Lady Cards appear to have a formidable top four and will have plenty of competition for the fifth and final travel spot this fall and spring. Louise Oxner is a promising sophomore and coaches Trimble and Bryan are excited about their incoming freshman class.
As for the recent alumni, Katie Petrino has turned professional and is looking to qualify for the LPGA this week in Palm Springs, California with fellow alumnus Tara Lyons. Katie Finished third this summer in the Kentucky Women's Open and Lyons has been competing successfully throughout Europe. Good luck to all former Cards out there.
The women's golf program at the University of Louisville is looking to join the football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse programs as consistent contenders for ACC titles and national championship banners. If the 2015 offseason serves as indicator for the upcoming season, Courtney Trimble and Mary Bryan are in for one exciting season. Best of luck to the Lady Cards and we look forward to relishing in their headlines of success.