March 2, 2018
Meets #10 and 11 -- Carolina vs. Delaware State and Baylor
FELTON, Del. -- The 10th-ranked University of South Carolina equestrian team split a pair of meets on Friday morning, defeating Delaware State, 6-4, and losing to No. 7 Baylor, 7-5, at the Dovington Training Center.
Carolina is now 3-8 on the season with one regular-season meet remaining. Baylor holds a 5-4 record, and DSU is now 0-8.
Both meets were contested in freezing-cold temperatures with fierce winds blowing throughout the day. Because of the conditions, equitation over fences was canceled for the day.
CAROLINA 6, DELAWARE STATE 4
Equitation on the flat ran simultaneously with reining, and the Gamecocks lost three of the four points. The Carolina victory came from Lizzie van der Walde, 80-71 over Molly Gara on Finnegan. At the break, the Hornets held a 4-3 lead.
The Gamecocks stormed back by going unbeaten in horsemanship. Quinn Brandt earned a 68-68 draw on Orkie in the first matchup, then Carolina won three straight. Paige Stopperich rode Mick to a 70-68 win over Cheyenne Adams, and Madison Thiel took down Jarrett, 69.5-61.5, on Calvin. The last victory went to Megan Overberg, 69-62.5 on Frasier over Kelsey McArthur. The Gamecocks led, 6-4, and with equitation over fences canceled soon after, that stood as the final score.
Carolina won two of the three MOP awards against the Hornets. Stopperich was honored for her horsemanship ride, while Walters was named reining MOP.
BAYLOR 7, CAROLINA 5
Baylor won three of the four reining points to take an early lead. The lone victory came from Caroline Gute, who defeated Abbi Demel, 70-68, on Wizzy.
The Gamecocks evened things up by winning three of the four equitation on the flat points. Chloe Schmidt won the first point, 86-77, taking down Madison Day on Indy, and Madison Brayman dropped Rachael Davis, 80-79, on Finnegan. Louisa Brackett earned a 77-70 victory on Elliott over Rachel Van Allen, and at the break, the score was tied, 4-4.
Both teams were aware that equitation over fences had been canceled when they began horsemanship, meaning the match would be decided in the western arena. The Bears won three of the four points, clinching the victory. Carolina's lone tally came from Stopperich, who knocked off Charlotte Green, 70-69.5, on Mick.
Schmidt was honored as equitation on the flat MOP, while Gute was the top rider in reining.
The Gamecocks are now 11-2 all-time against Delaware State.
FROM THE COACH
"You always have to be prepared to compete in all types of adverse conditions, and today was no exception. We experienced a little bit of everything weather-wise in the last 24 hours - warm, cold, drizzle, rain, fog, mist, sleet, snow and a heck of a lot of wind. We tried everything we could to get both meets in, but Mother Nature prevailed when the jumps started blowing over! This is the first time in 21 years I've had a portion of a meet canceled, but the safety of the student-athletes and horses comes first. I am proud of our team for continuing to show their grit and determination and happy to get a win against DSU. It came down to the last ride in horsemanship against Baylor to determine the win, and we haven't been in that position in a while. We came out on the short end but are still making progress. Hats off to Delaware State for running a great meet in very adverse conditions!"- Head Coach Boo Major
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
Carolina closes the regular season on Friday, March 9 when it hosts Fresno State. It's Senior Day at One Wood Farm, with the meet scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.
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