No.2 upends No.1 to Headline an Exciting Weekend of NCEA Competition

RELEASE: February 25, 2013

It was quite a weekend of NCEA action, with two of the top three teams losing. My brief recap of each match is below.

No.2 Auburn University  def No.1 University of Georgia 12-8

Senior Stephanie Rucci helped lead No.2 Auburn over No.1 Georgia on Saturday (Sophomore Danielle Long)
Senior Stephanie Rucci helped lead No.2 Auburn over No.1 Georgia on Saturday (Sophomore Danielle Long)
It was a little closer than last time they met, when Auburn won 13-7, but the Georgia Bulldogs couldn’t take advantage of being at home to get a win over the Tigers. Auburn jumped out to a quick lead in this one, and held it.

The western team was the difference this time around, with Auburn taking Horsemanship 4-1 during the meet's first half.

"Overall, I'd say the group rode some of the best I've seen all year," said Auburn Sophmore Stephanie Rucci, who won points in Horsemanship and Reining, and was the Horsemanship MOP. "We all know how difficult it is to win an away meet, especially at the top-ranked school, but we overcame it all.”

Auburn also won Equitation over Fences 3-2 in the first half and went into the second half with a 7-3 lead. The second half was much closer, but Georgia was unable to close the gap by even a point. The Bulldogs were able to win Equitation on the Flat 3-2, but they were matched in Reining by the Tigers who, also won 3-2.

With the win, and Oklahoma State’s loss to Baylor on Saturday, Auburn should have secured the No.1 spot in the next coaches poll. They are still undefeated during the spring season and on a roll heading into a Texas road trip that will see them face Texas A&M, Baylor, and TCU to close out the season before hosting the first ever SEC Equestrian Championship.

Final Score: 12-8

Reining: McKenzie Lantz (UGA)
Horsemanship:  Stephanie Rucci (AU)
Equitation over Fences:  Elizabeth Benson (AU)
Equitation on the Flat: Kylee Arbuckle (UGA)

No.1 University of Georgia def Delaware State University 17-3

One day after dropping their big meet with Auburn, Georgia could have been susceptible to a letdown. They weren’t. The Bulldogs swept the Hornets 5-0 in both Reining and Equitation over Fences and swept the MOP honors on the way to a dominating win. 

”Today was really important because we got to apply some of the things we learned yesterday," head coach Meghan Boenig told "This was another opportunity to go out and be aggressive and push ourselves, which is what we have to do if we want to win a championship.

Final Score: 17-3

Reining: Michelina Carbone (UGA)
Horsemanship: Maria Salazar (UGA)
Equitation over Fences: Sarah Milliren (UGA)
Equitation on the Flat: Carly Anthony (UGA)

No.2 Auburn def Delaware State 15-4

After their win over Georgia in the morning, the Auburn Tigers took on Delaware State Saturday afternoon. Auburn swept all four phases on their way to a convincing win. The win was the Tiger’s seventh in a row.

Final Score: 15-4

Reining: Hailey Munger (AU)
Equitation over Fences: Elizabeth Benson (AU)
Equitation on the Flat: Anna Becker (AU)

No.6 Baylor def. No.3 Oklahoma State 10-10

The Baylor bears avenged a loss earlier in the season, and pulled an upset in what might have been the most exciting NCEA match of the weekend. In their first home meet of the spring the Bears jumped to an early lead, lost it, and came back for a 1471.5-1346.75 raw score victory.

The meet started out with 4-1 Baylor win in Equitation over Fences. But they proceeded to give up the lead after falling 4-1 in Horsemanship, and then lose the lead after the Cowgirls won 3-2 in Equitation on the Flat. The Reining team did what they needed to though, and earned 3-2 win that tied the score at 10, and gave the bears the win.

Final Score: 10-10 (1471.5-1346.75)

Reining:  Kaci O’Rourke (OSU
Horsemanship: Lauren Halvorson (OSU)
Equitation over Fences:  Samantha Schaefer (BU)
Equitation over Fences: Allie Joyce (OSU)

No.3 Oklahoma State University def. Texas Christian University 11-8

Oklahoma State rebounded after their loss to Baylor Saturday with an 11-8 win over TCU, a team that beat them 10-9 back in October.  The Cowgirls were led by their Western team which won Reining and Horsemanship by a combined 7-2 and took home both MOP awards. The Cowgirls also won Equitation over Fences 3-2. TCU kept it close by decisively winning Equitation on the Flat 4-1.

Final Score: 11-8

Reining: Katy Krshka (OSU)
Horsemanship: Lindsay McMullen (OSU)
Equitation over Fences: Samantha Harrison (OSU)
Equitation on the Flat: Demi Steigler (TCU)

No.5 South Carolina University def. No.6 Texas A&M University 12-8

This high profile matchup of two teams headed the same direction, down, was a big boost to the South Carolina Gamecocks, who were looking for a much needed win, at home, on senior day. A number of tough losses have hurt the Gamecocks recently, but they appeared to be back in form here, and proved that beating A&M earlier in the year was no fluke. Despite having MOPs in four phases of the match, the Aggies were only able to win in Equitation on the Flat. South Carolina is now back above .500 with a 5-4 record. Texas A&M fell to 4-5 and is now 0-4 in the SEC.

Reining: Lindsey Bernbaum (A&M)
Horsemanship: Molli Jacobs (A&M)
Equitation over Fences: Sally Henry (USC)
Equitation on the Flat: Hannah Williams (A&M)

No.9 Southern Methodist University def. No.10 South Dakota State University 6-4

Each team in this Hunter Seat only matchup won a phase, but it was a dominating 4-1 win in Equitation over fences that gave SMU the win. They are now 8-3 overall. The loss snapped SDSU’s six match win streak, and leaves them at 6-4 overall. Both teams defeat Sacred heart University earlier in the weekend. South Dakota State won 11-5, SMU 7-1 in Hunter Seat only.

Final Score: 6-4

Equitation over Fences: Alex Butterworth (SMU)
Equitation on the Flat: Marielle Golden (SDSU)