The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Perfection to a tee

On the heels of a disappointing year filled with injuries but no top finishes or post-season action, women’s golf head coach Todd Selders chose to focus on the bright spots at a recent team meeting.

“I told the players, ‘We’re going to forget about last year,'” he said. “As bad as it was, we still had some positives.”

Among the positives was Kate Ackerson, who won the Baylor Invitational in March and was named C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior. She was also one of four National Golf Coaches Association Academic All-Americans on the team, along with junior Alexis Bennett and sophomores Jennifer Hooper and Kalie Presti.

The NCAA also recognized the team with a public recognition award for its multi-year Academic Progress Rate score, marking the third straight season the SMU women’s golf team received the award.

While noting the success his players had in the classroom, coach Selders is ready to start anew on the links.

“I’ve told the team, ‘We’re going to move forward, we’re doing things differently.'”

One of the changes will be new assistant coach Emily Milberger, a former NGCA All-American Scholar and member of the All-Big 12 second team with the University of Oklahoma.

“We’re trying to rebuild and to move forward, and our new assistant coach has helped us a lot,” said senior Sarah Dodson.

“I’m excited to join the SMU family,” Milberger said in a release. “Coach Selders has established a solid foundation here on the Hilltop, and with out new SMU Payne Stewart Golf Learning Center at the [Dallas Athletic Club], I am confident that we can be a Top-25 program and compete for national championships.”

Ground was broken at the $3.2 million facility in June, and Coach Selders has already noticed an impact from the state-of-the-art center.

“We’ve got hitting bays, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, rooms for study hall,” he said. “It’s really been instrumental in my recruiting. Before, I’ve had to go after the top players in the country, and now it’s the other way around. They’re starting to contact me.”

Entering his seventh season as head coach, Selders is hoping he and Milberger help guide the team into the post-season.

“We’re going to challenge the players a little bit more and see if we can’t get off to a great start,” he said.

Dodson said the team has two goals this season: “We hope to make it to [NCAA] regionals, then hopefully to nationals.”

A pair of local freshmen is expected to make a quick impact on the team. Felicia Espericueta joins the Mustangs from the South Texas town of Edinburg, while Tanya Wadhwa, a native of India, attended Spring Creek Academy in McKinney.

“They are two of the best players in the country, and they’re going to come in and give us a little boost,” Selders said.

“They’re very good players, and with the ones that are returning, we should have a lot better season.”

The team begins competition Sept. 13-15 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Primm, Nev.

More to Discover