After finally busting through the NCAA regionals and earning a spot in the national finals, the Colorado women's golf team could take the approach of simply enjoying the trip.

Instead, the Buffaloes are going into finals aiming to ride their momentum.

"It's an (attitude of), 'We're here, but we're not going to let up,'" CU junior Gillian Vance said. "It's not like it ends here and we made it and it's our only goal. We're going to go show them what we can do, because we can do it."

Beginning Friday, the Buffs will be one of 24 teams playing in the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

All 24 teams will play three days (54 holes) of stroke play. After Sunday's third round, the field will be cut to 15 teams for stroke play on Monday. The top eight after that round will move onto match play Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I feel a lot of people see us as the underdog going into nationals, which is fine for us," senior Brittany Fan said. "I think personally we probably each have some pressure because we want to make the cut and get to match play. There's still that pressure to play well."

CU has reached the finals for just the second time in program history, joining the 2012 team.

This is a group led by hard working leaders Fan and sophomore Robyn Choi; ultra competitive sophomore Kirsty Hodgkins; and Vance and freshman Alisha Lau, who coach Anne Kelly said, "give you everything they have."


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Overall, it's a team Kelly feels confident with heading to finals.

"It's very exciting and most of all I'm excited for this group because they're a great bunch to work with and they've worked so hard this year," Kelly said.

Kelly and assistant Brent Franklin have seen the course and believe it could play into CU's strengths.

"It's a hard golf course, but it's fair," Kelly said. "We, as a team, really need to learn how to play it and manage it to the best of our ability. It's not a course you can really overpower. You have to really hit it straight, which I think is in our wheelhouse."

The real strength of this team, however, just might be its will to succeed.

After coming up one stroke short of finals the past two years, they broke through the barrier this year and are ready to keep pushing forward.

"It's an amazing feeling," Vance said of qualifying for finals. "I'm so proud of this team. We were due for something good to happen.

"The girls are playing awesome. The amount of focus and preparation that we're getting right now is amazing. There is pressure, but it's good pressure. It's a motivating pressure that we have."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.