Reset button: hit. After a disappointing end to last season, which saw the Bears miss qualification to the NCAA championship, Cal women’s golf is eager to start its 2022-2023 campaign.
Cal will kick off its season at the Olympic Club Invitational on Sept. 12, hosted by Bay Area neighbor USF. The 10-team tournament will feature strong opposition in No. 5 UCLA and No. 11 San Jose State — the Bears will try to punch above their weight, as they currently sit outside of the top 25.
Cal, however, has not found success in its recent opening tournaments. It finished 10th out of 16 teams at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational this time last year and struggled during the 2020-2021 season, tying for last place at the Sun Devil Winter Classic.
But if one team could deliver a shock performance this week, it’s Cal — five of its 11 players will appear for the blue and gold for the first time this season. Graduate transfer Annika Borrelli, who came to Cal from USF, will already feature at No. 2 in the lineup this week, followed by freshman Adora Liu at No. 3.
Despite the significant turnover, the Bears are still keen on finding their groove early in the season, and the team is setting ambitious goals for its upcoming campaign.
Cal’s head coach Nancy McDaniel emphasized that the team is hoping to set a high standard straight away. Highlighting the team’s close-knit atmosphere, she hopes that the environment will help the team to reach new heights during this coming season.
McDaniel’s outlook on the season is to be expected. With ranked opposition vying for the nation’s top spots at this week’s tournament and the Big Match against Stanford looming at less than three weeks away, the Bears should hope that the bedding-in process for their newcomers is as quick as possible.
The Olympic Invitational will serve as an effective litmus test right out of the gate with tough competition and conference foes. Cal fans will be anticipating for the team’s new faces to reverse its recent misfires at opening tournaments.
As the team’s new additions settle in, the team has a chance at redeeming last year’s disappointing results. A new year and a new season bring new opportunities that the blue and gold hope to seize.
Three rounds of golf on 5,976 yards of picturesque ocean course await. Cal will play two rounds of 18 holes Monday, Sept. 12 followed by one final round Tuesday, Sept. 13.