WAYNESVILLE, N.C. – Opening their Fall season in a tournament dominated by Division I teams, the Saint Leo women’s golf team kick-started their Fall season with a seventh-place first day in the Great Smokies Invitational hosted by Western Carolina University and competed at the Waynesville Country Club in North Carolina.

As became commonplace during last season, the Lions had another performance for the books as Saint Leo shot a team total 304, which bested their previous best set last Spring in the Barry Buccaneers Invitational. 

Led by senior Anna Riss’ even-par performance, a career and program best, the Lions sit in front of 16 teams in the 23-team field that features 20 Division I programs and two NAIA squads.  Riss currently sits three-strokes back of the individual lead.

Beside Riss, two other Lions shot in the 70’s with newcomer Jordan Hatch dropping in three birdies and heading into the clubhouse with a two-over 74.  The Lions’ other new face, Suzanne Ervin also posted three birdies and closed out her first-round with a five-over 77.

Kristina Caravalho and Goeun Lee closed out the team scores for Saint Leo with an 81 and 83 respectively.

The host Western Carolina Catamounts and Elon College hold the tournament’s lead after 18 holes as both carded 286, putting SLU 18 strokes back.

The Lions will be back in action early tomorrow as they will be paired with Charleston Southern University, Old Dominion University and Western Kentucky University.