Women’s golf team holds their ground in national tournament

Story by Emily Gresbrink

This past weekend, the women’s golf team traveled to South Bend, Ind. to play in the 2010 O’Brien National Invitational.

The two-day tournament proved to be a challenge for the Blugolds, who ended up placing third on day one, second on day two, and second overall.

Coach Meghan Sobotta said the girls “played well,” and were just two strokes out of first place on the first day of competition.

Junior Emily Swift, who placed 10th individually with 159 strokes, says the team had the spirit at the tournament, but the competition was tough.

“We really wanted to come in first, but we just didn’t pull of the scores we wanted to the second day,” Swift said. “We came in second to the number 1 ranked team in the nation (Methodist College, NC) so we didn’t end up doing too bad.”

Individually, the Blugolds found themselves facing big challenges. Junior Sara Mattes tied for eighth place overall with 158, followed by Swift and sophomore Catherine Wagner who tied for 14th with 161 strokes.

Junior Lauren Gault and Junior Katie Maurer also placed in the top 35 and remained under 170 strokes.

Out of ten teams, Methodist College (N.C.) took the first place spot, followed by UW-Eau Claire, and Allegheny College (Pa.) taking third. According to Sobotta, each of the institutions in the O’Brien National Invitational finished in the top 11 at the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships last May.

“The girls are doing well,” Sobotta said. “We’ve won back-to-back tournaments in the first two weekends, and we placed second this weekend. I couldn’t really ask for much more.”

This weekend, the Blugolds travel to Marshall, Minn. for the Division II Mustang Invitational. The tournament, which starts on Saturday and concludes Sunday, will be the last tournament before the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championships in October in Wisconsin Rapids.
The team is taking this previous weekend not as an unsuccessful one, but rather as a springboard for the upcoming conference and nationals.

“We want to win conference this fall, and hopefully win nationals in the spring,” Swift said. “This weekend proved to us that this goal is not out of reach if we work hard.”

“Our ultimate goal is to win conference and get the automatic qualification bid for Nationals,” Sobotta said. “We’ve competed against most of the schools from the WIAC already … I think we have a really good chance of winning the title. The automatic qualification bid would eliminate pressure on us in the spring, leaving us to focus on Nationals.”