The women’s golf team continues to improve this spring. But so does the biggest threat to the defense of its Ivy League title: Princeton.

At its last tournament before the Ivy League Championship, the women’s golf team finished fifth out of 17 teams.

The Bulldogs competed at the Bonne Hoover Invitational tournament at James Madison University April 12 and 13. The 6,046-yard, par-72 course in Harrisonburg, Va., is slightly longer than most courses the team uses.

With a total score of 959 over three rounds, the Elis fell three strokes behind archrival Princeton, which shot 956. James Madison University took first with a score of 935 and the University of Maryland finished second at 945, followed by Ohio University at 950. Princeton and Yale followed in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Top Princeton player Avery Kiser shot 224 overall to win the tournament’s individual medal. Jeehae Lee ’06 finished fourth individually (230) by shooting 14-over par. Stephanie Wei ’05 (237) tied for 10th place.

During the first round, the team struggled and was six strokes behind Princeton. In the last round, the Elis finished nine strokes ahead of their Ivy foe.

Yale has only two more weeks of practice before the Ivy League Championship April 25 to 27 in Ridgewood, N.J.

“It looks like we finally might have two weeks of good weather and solid practice time,” Jordanna Davis ’03 said. “At this point, that time is vital. It’s really the first time all spring that we can focus on what we’ve been struggling with and get the kinks out.”

Princeton has so far been Yale’s greatest threat to the Ivy League title. On March 23, the Tigers took first place at the Georgetown Invitational. On March 30, the Tigers took third place at the William and Mary Invitational. Yale has finished 13th (LSU invitational last weekend) and eighth (Dr. Thompson Rainbow Tournament in Hawaii over spring break) in its spring tournaments.

With Princeton playing top-notch golf, it will take strong and consistent playing from Yale to capture the Ivy crown for the second consecutive year.

“We are very equal,” Jessica Shapiro ’06 said. “It’s up to us to play our best.”

Beside the Tigers, Brown won the Bucknell Lady Bison Spring Invitational April 6, finishing ahead of Harvard by three strokes. But Yale feels it has no competitors other than Princeton.

“Brown might like to think so, but we don’t,” Davis said.