WACO, Texas -- The No. 3 seed Auburn equestrian team powered past No. 6 South Carolina in the NCEA Quarterfinals Friday, defeating the Gamecocks 12-4 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
"The team rode fantastic today," head coach Greg Williams said. "We kind of went to sleep towards the end, but I'm still proud of this team today. We are at a point where we can beat anyone in the country and the team is riding that way. We're looking forward to tomorrow."
The Tigers will take on SEC rival and No. 2 seed Georgia Saturday morning in the NCEA semifinals beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT. It'll be the fourth meeting of the year between the two squads and the winner will face the winner of Texas A&M/TCU in the NCEA championship.
The Hunt Seat crew went a perfect 8-0 on the day, staring with a 4-0 mark in Equitation Over Fences. Senior Ashley Foster got things going with a 167-80 win, picking up her 13th victory of the season. Sophomore Hayley Iannotti followed with a great ride, winning 171-167. Classmate Ashton Alexander put together a 176-162 victory and sophomore Caitlin Boyle closed out the event with her 11th win of the year, besting Lizzie van der Walde, 179-165.
The Tigers had a great showing in Reining, finishing with a 3-1 record over the Gamecocks. Sophomore Blair McFarlin edged her opponent with a great score of 141. Classmate Lauren Diaz scored a 136.5 in her victory, while sophomore Betsy Brown picked up her sixth win in a row with 137 points.
Following intermission, the Equitation on the Flat corps swept the Gamecocks to go up 11-1. Iannotti finished with a 179-157 victory, earning her team-leading 11th win this year. Seniors Foster and Tory Hoft scored 179 and 171 points, respectively, to record their 10th victory each. Alexander's 175 points bested Sydney Smith's 161, giving her nine wins on the season.
In Horsemanship, freshman Kara Kaufmann had a great ride for the Tigers and picked up her team-best 10th win of the year. She defeated Bailey Mierzejewski, 148.5-147.5.
#3 AUBURN 12, #6 SOUTH CAROLINA 4
Equitation on the Flat
Hayley Iannotti (AU) def. Lauren Fabiano (SC), 179-157
Ashton Alexander (AU) def. Sydney Smith (SC), 175-161
Ashley Foster (AU) def. Chloe Schmidt (SC), 179-153
Tory Hoft (AU) def. Lizzie van der Walde (SC), 171-158
Equitation Over Fences
Ashley Foster (AU) def. Madison Sellman (SC), 167-80
Hayley Iannotti (AU) def. Chloe Schmidt (SC), 171-167
Ashton Alexander (AU) def. Sydney Smith (SC), 176-162
Caitlin Boyle (AU) def. Lizzie van der Walde (SC), 179-165
Kara Kaufmann (AU) def. Bailey Mierzejewski (SC), 148.5-147.5
Ashley Reichert (SC) def. Lauren Diaz (AU), 150-146.5
Maddie Thiel (SC) def. Hannah Stephens (AU), 150-148.5
Paige Stopperich (SC) def. Megan Rauh (AU), 146.5-145
Blair McFarlin (AU) def. Bailey Walters (SC), 141-140.5
Jordan Scott (SC) def. Alexa Rivard (AU), 138.5-138
Lauren Diaz (AU) def. Paisley Roberts (SC), 136.5-130
Betsy Brown (AU) def. Caroline Gute (SC), 137-136.5