Blugolds seek third straight nationals appearance

After competing in the NCAA Div. III National Championships the past two seasons, this year’s women’s golf team is looking for a third straight trip.

“This year’s team is looking good,” coach John Rawdon said. “Really good.”

The squad is much younger than last year’s, but returning junior Jen Prock does not see that as a problem.

“Our recruits are real strong players,” Prock said. “I think they’ll do very well.”

Last season, the Blugolds finished with a stellar record of 57-6 in the conference and an 83-11 overall record.

Gone from the team are four seniors. Senior Karen Law and junior Katie Dooley are the only upperclassmen besides Prock.

“I am excited to see how the freshmen will hold up to the pressure,” Prock said.

During Labor Day weekend, the freshmen showed no signs of inexperience, helping the team to a six-shot win in the Blugold Fall Invitational.

Freshman Maggie Loney led the way for the Blugolds, firing a two-day total of 168. She finished one stroke off the individual leader from UW-Oshkosh, Carrie Detjen.

The victory marked back-to-back wins for the ‘Golds as they also beat Oshkosh in last year’s final.

Thist was a good tournament for us,” Prock said. “Oshkosh will be some of our toughest competition this year.”

The five freshmen recruits include Loney, Susan Karlman, Kristen Muranyi, Crystal O’Connell and Katie Munn.

“Our youth is a real strong point,” Prock said. “We will be a strong team for the next four years.”

After finishing seventh at nationals last spring and ninth in 2001, returing to nationals is a primary focus for the team, Prock said.

“Nationals is our ultimate goal,” Prock said. “I think that we have a good chance of making it again.”