Equestrian finishes challenging year at conference tournament

By AUSTIN HAMM Sports Editor

The SDSU equestrian team finished off their spring schedule and competition for the year with a pair of losses at the United Equestrian Conference tournament in Fresno, Cal. to Fresno State and New Mexico State.  The Jacks finished 2014-15 with a 6-9 record.

Against Fresno State, the top seed in the tournament and the fifth ranked team in the nation, fourth-seeded SDSU fell 12-3.

“I was not happy with the tournament, overall,” SDSU head coach Megan Rossiter said. “Against Fresno State, we didn’t have a great day. We made some mistakes and definitely gave some of those points away.”

 Senior Jordan Goodall lead the way with a score of 161.5 over the fences to claim a point. Junior Marielle Golden also scored a point over fences with a score of 159.

The Jacks only other point on the day came in horsemanship from sophomore Danielle Dickerson, who scored a 136.Victoria Johnson led all SDSU horsemanship riders with a score of 143.5, but that only earned her a tie.

The loss moved the Jackrabbits to a consolation match with the third-seeded Aggies of New Mexico State. Goodall won both of her points on the day, scoring a 155 on the flat to end the season with a 6-8 record. She also took home Most Outstanding Player honors on the flat, her third flat MOP of the season. She scored 160 over fences to improve to an even 7-7, which moved her into a tie for the second-most wins in a season in SDSU history.

Golden also won both of her points, carding a 151 on the flat and a 137 over fences. She ended the season with a school single-season record nine wins on the flat (9-4), which also gives her an SDSU career-record 14 wins (14-8). Golden’s win over fences moved her record on the season to 8-6, which set a new SDSU single-season record.

Freshman Alissa Greenwald also scored her point over fences to end her first Jackrabbit campaign with a 3-5-1 record.

On the western side, Danielle Baker went out a winner, scoring the Jacks lone western point of the day, a 134.5 in reining to improve to 5-6-1 on the season. She ends her career at SDSU with a 13-18-1 record.

“A lot of good rides [against New Mexico State], especially on the hunt seat side. We actually took them in the hunt seat, but got almost swept in the Western, so obviously not happy with that,” Rossiter said. “However our seniors, the three seniors with us, got into the ring on Saturday and had good rides. Danielle Baker won her point; Jordan Goodall was Most Outstanding Player on the flat. Mandy Grader also rode on Saturday She didn’t win her point, but had a great ride.”

With the year in the books, Rossiter and the team now have a chance to reassess and look toward next year. Despite expressing some disappointment with how the 2014-15 season ended up Rossiter has hopes next year will look much better for the Jackrabbits as they look to recover from a year where the NCAA will essentially decide the fate of the sport at a collegiate level and they dealt with a mid-season coaching change in the hunt seat.

“We had some ups and downs,” Rossiter said. “I wouldn’t say I’m happy with the season because I’m not, but in their defense, multiple things were there to distract them. One of my biggest mottos is champions are made in the offseason.”