The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Keepin’ the team on par

    This year’s fourth-place finish in the WIAC aside, the UW-Eau Claire women’s golf team has been almost unstoppable for the past four years, taking three consecutive conference titles in that time span.

    Lending herself to some of that success was senior Meghan Sobotta, who played a primary role on the team this year and has been a significant contributor in prior seasons.

    “Meghan is a good enough athlete to be able to play this game professionally,” coach John Means said. “Fundamentally, she’s extremely solid.”

    Sobotta, an Arcadia native and senior business management major, said she has ben playing golf for most of her life.

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    “I guess I can’t even remember when I started,” she said. “I got my first set of golf clubs when I was probably two years old in my Easter basket.”

    She said she didn’t begin playing golf competitively until she was in sixth or seventh grade, but that she often accompanied her father on the golf course as a young child and began playing the game thanks to his support.

    A four-time conference medalist on her high school golf team, Sobotta said she had the opportunity to play at Div. I Winona State University (Minn.), and that she was close to being offered a scholarship to play there.

    However, Sobotta said she chose to attend Div. III UW-Eau Claire because of its golf program’s proven success.

    “I didn’t care about the scholarship money,” she said. “I wanted to keep playing and get better as a golfer.”

    Means said Sobotta’s decision to attend Eau Claire over Winona State exhibited her character as an athlete and her desire to win and get better.

    “That says volumes about her,” he said. “She wants to win, she’s a competitor.”

    And Sobotta apparently made the right choice by coming to Eau Claire. As a freshman, she was part of a national championship-calibre Blugold team, which took third place nationally that year.

    This year, Sobotta finished first place individually in the WIAC conference championship tournament.

    But success on the golf course is only part of Sobotta’s story. She said she has also made close friends with many of the golfers and has even made an unexpected relationship with a former high school rival.

    “Torie Ives – her and I were conference rivals (in high school),” Sobotta said. “We battled for two years head to head.”

    Sobotta and Ives are now roommates and good friends on the golf team. Such relationships, Sobotta said, are one of the many benefits that the golf team has given her.

    “I’ve made so many good friends,” she said. “We are all so close.”

    Major: Business management
    Hometown: Arcadia
    Favorite sports movie: “Tin Cup”
    Best sports memory: Placing third at nationals freshman year in college.

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