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Alyssa Akiyama leads Knights to victory at St. Kate’s Invite

September 23, 2018 at 9:11 pm
Ayumi Sakamoto, Alexis Chan, Ziyi Wang, Alyssa Akiyama, Molly Erickson, Abby Euyang, Kristin Miyagi
Ayumi Sakamoto, Alexis Chan, Ziyi Wang, Alyssa Akiyama, Molly Erickson, Abby Euyang, Kristin Miyagi

HASTINGS, Minn. – Alyssa Akiyama (Jr./Terrace Park, Ohio/Seven Hills School) earned her fourth career individual victory and paced six Knights inside the top 15 as the Carleton College women’s golf program pulled away for the team victory at the St. Catherine Invitational.

The Knights have won all four tournaments this season and have finished atop the leaderboard at 15 consecutive regular-season team victory, a stretch that dates back to April 15, 2017. The Knights also have a pair of top-7 results at the NCAA Championships over this span.

Carleton fired a team score of 313 on Saturday, building a 13-stroke advantage. The Knights improved by six shots in the final round and concluded the tournament with a score of 620, good for a 29-shot margin of victory. This was the final tune-up for next weekend’s conference tournament.

"Bellwood Oaks is a deceiving course,” said Carleton head coach Molly Erickson. “It always provides an unexpected challenge. We overcame another mental test as a team this weekend with approach shots that were hard to judge and greens that were tough to hold."

Demonstrating the depth of this year’s squad, Akiyama posted Carleton’s sixth-best score a week ago but seven days later captured her first individual title since winning the Wartburg Fall Invite on Sept. 10, 2017. This time around, she carded scores of 76 and 75 to finish with a 5-over par total of 151.

Ziyi Wang (Sr./Beijing City, China/Lighthouse Christian Academy) fired a season-high 80 on Saturday but bounced back by breaking par for the first time in her career. Her scorecard totaled a 1-under par 72 for the final round. That was the best score turned in on the weekend. Wang totaled 152 shots for the tournament.

Abby Euyang (So./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) finished in a three-way tie for fifth place (+12, 78-80=158), and Ayumi Sakamoto (Sr./Honolulu, Hawaii/ʻIolani School) totaled 80 strokes on each day to place ninth at 14-over par.

Alexis Chan (So./Castle Rock, Colo./Rock Canyon)—who was competing as an individual—tied for 12th place (+17, 83-80=163), one stroke ahead of Kristin Miyagi (Fy./Honolulu, Hawaii/'Iolani School) (+18 79-85, 164).

"The ladies gave me no shortage of things to be proud of this weekend, as usual. Everyone had their fair share of struggles on the course and bounced back with poise—which is all I can ask of them—to take every round one shot at a time. I'm grateful to be coaching this incredible group of ladies and beyond proud of our last four tournament performances. Looking forward to MIACs next weekend!"

The MIAC Championships will be held on Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, Minn.