NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Unfortunately for the rest of its Ivy League competition, the Yale women's golf team will welcome a recruiting class to New Haven this fall that may just be one of its best yet. The Bulldogs' class of 2015 features three highly decorated golfers: Shreya Ghei, Marika Liu and Caroline Rouse.
"We are getting three great incoming freshmen," Coach Chawwadee Rompothong '00 said. "I am very excited to have them join the Bulldogs. They have big shoes to fill, but I think they will do well."
Those shoes are large indeed, as Coach Rompothong's Ivy League Champion squad said goodbye to three immensely talented seniors, Cassie Boles, Harriet Owers-Bradley and captain Alyssa Roland (the 2010 Ivy League Individual Champion), all of whom were All-Ivy selections at some point during their Yale careers.
Yet if their prep school careers are any indication, Ghei, Liu and Rouse certainly have the potential to ease the loss of the class of 2011 as the Bulldogs undertake the defense of their Ancient Eight title.
Ghei, a native of Delhi, India, experienced success on the links very early on, as at age 12 she took home the Northern India Sub Junior Championship, and by age 14 had already brought home a top-10 finish in the Northern India Ladies Open. Ghei then took her game to the international stage, representing India at the 107th Malaysian Amateur Golf Championship in 2009, where she finished ninth. That same year, she represented Delhi Golf Club at the Jakarta World Championships, finishing sixth, and tallied yet another top-10 finish at the 30th Asia Pacific Junior Championships. Ghei came to the US for the 2009 Callaway Junior World Golf Championship at Torrey Pines, and was selected to represent India for the Nick Faldo Asia Series Grand Finals at Mission Hills, China, in March 2010 after winning the 42nd Northern India Amateur Open Golf Championship 2009. Also in 2010, Ghei represented India at the Asian Games as part of the Indian Ladies golf team, and was the National Amateur Champion in 2009-10. She was runner up in that tournament this season.
Liu grew up in Beverly Hills, Calif., but played her prep golf at the Pendleton School in Bradenton, Fla. She was recently named to the 2010 HP Junior Scholastic All-America team, an honor that requires student-athletes to finish in the top 10 of an American Junior Golf Association tournament and have outstanding academic and community service records to be considered. Liu certainly met those requirements, not only finishing in the top 10, but actually winning the AJGA Florida Junior Championship while taking fourth in the Trader Joe's Junior Championship. Her 4.56 GPA was first in her class, and she was also a 2009 honoree.
Rouse capped a spectacular high school career with a senior season that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called "the work of destiny," in naming her its All-Metro Girl's Golfer of the Year. She took her sectional title, as well as first overall at the River Challenge. She finished eighth in the state her junior year, and medaled in nine of 10 matches that season.
Ghei, Liu and Rouse could do worse than to look to last year's recruiting class – Seo Hee Moon and Sun Gyoung Park – for advice on the transition to college golf. Moon was named the unanimous Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Year following a season that saw her win individual titles in six of the 10 tournaments she played. Park was also brilliant for the Bulldogs, playing consistently strong golf throughout the spring and coming on strong when they needed her most – late in the season – with a 12th place finish at the Ivy League Championships and Yale's second best score at the NCAA Regional (236, 49th overall).
Besides having a stellar sophomore class to look to, the class of 2015 joins a Bulldog squad whose chemistry was an integral part of its success in 2010-11. Newly-elected Captain Lily Boettcher and the rest of the Bulldogs' returners will undoubtedly make maintaining that championship chemistry (and building the kind of welcoming environment that allowed Moon and Park to experience such success immediately upon arriving to Yale) a point of emphasis as they look to bring home a second straight Ivy League title.
Report by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity