Morningside’s women’s golf team carded the lowest score in school history en route to winning the Mount Marty Fall Invite.

Maria Zorrilla

Samantha Knight

Morningside’s women’s golf team made an early season statement when the Mustangs captured the team championship at the Mount Marty College Fall Invite held Thursday and Friday at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton, S.D.

The Mustangs finished the two-day event with a team score of 645 to edge nationally ranked William Penn, 17th in the NAIA Preseason Poll, by two strokes and finished 27 strokes in front of reigning Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) champion Briar Cliff, which finished third with a 672.

Morningside opened a 13-stroke advantage over William Penn in Thursday’s opening round when it carded its lowest score in school history with a 306 to shave nine strokes off its previous best of a 315 set last year at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa.

Morningside’s Samantha Knight, a freshman from Onawa, Iowa, was the tournament’s individual medalist with a two-day total of 154 for a three-stroke cushion over runner-up medalists Helene Larsen and Megan Rhoads of William Penn, who each finished at 157.

Knight, a three-time Iowa state champion during her prep career at West Monona High School, shot the lowest score in Morningside women’s golf history when she fired a one-under par 71 in Thursday’s first round. She broke the former Mustang standard of 73 by Jenny Bowen in 2009 and matched twice by Sophie Peters during the 2011-12 campaign.

Knight finished with an 83 for the fourth lowest score in the field in Friday’s second round.

Morningside’s Maria Zorrilla, a freshman from Coalhuila, Mexico, finished fifth in the individual standings with rounds of 76 and 86 for a 162. The Mustangs’ other counting scores each day came from  Alexandra Mankle, a junior from Milford, Iowa, with rounds of 80 and 83 to finish sixth in the individual standings with a 163 and Mikaela Livengood, a junior from Eagle Grove, Iowa, who carded a 79 and 87 to finished 10th with a 166.

The Mustangs will compete in the Texas Intercollegiate tournament on Sept. 11 and 12 in Fort Worth, Texas.