Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
SOLVANG, Calif. — College of the Canyons opened up an early seven stroke lead on Sunday, then pushed its advantage for an eventual 28-stroke victory to claim Western State Conference (WSC) team and individual titles at Alisal River Golf Course on Monday.
Canyons carded a four-player, two-day score of 628 (313/315) to best second place Santa Barbara City College at 656 (320/336) and third place Bakersfield College at 760 (389/371).
Meanwhile, COC freshman Haruka Koda (151-75/76) won the WSC individual title after battling back from six shots behind to catch, and pass, SBCC's Stephanie Farouze (152-69/83) who started the event with a tourney-best round of 69 on day one.
Koda, who had earned medalist honors at four events heading into the conference finals, topped the field on day two to lead Canyons to victory and claim the individual championship.
Canyons freshman Jessie Lin (155-78/77) tied for third overall with Georgia Shevitt (155-80/75) of Moorpark.
In a sign of COC's dominance this season, sophomore Gina Chung (170-83/87) placed 10th overall at the event but had her score dropped from the team total. Shabana Poswal (192-96/96) also had her score scratched for the Lady Cougars.
Roecker, Heuer, Lin and Chung were each named to the All-WSC team.
The conference championship is the ninth in COC women's golf program history and the first since 2014, with all titles coming under head coach Gary Peterson.
Canyons finished the regular season undefeated, having won every WSC event as well as the annual Morro Bay North-South Invitational, which attracted a field of 14 top programs from around the state.
COC will now advance to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Championships which will also be played at Alisal River Golf Course over two days Nov. 4-5.
A total of nine teams will compete in the regional championship with the top four teams advancing to the state championship tournament Nov. 11-12 in Morro Bay.
WSC Finals — Oct. 28-29, 2018 — Final Team Scores
1. Canyons (628-313/315) 2. SBCC (656-320/336) 3. Bakersfield (760-389/371).
WSC Finals — Oct. 28-29, 2018 — Canyons Individual Scores
Haruka Koda (151-75/76 - medalist); Jessie Lin (155-78/77-tie third); JoJo Roecker (159-78/81-fifth); Paige Heuer (163-82/81-sixth); Gina Chung(170-83/87-10th-scratch); Shabana Poswal (192-96/96-scratch).
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.