The North Dakota State women’s golf team ended its season with a third place finish at the Summit League Championship, hosted at ArborLinks Golf Course April 20.
The tournament ended what was a successful season for the team, which included a victory earlier this spring.
The Summit League Championship did not start off the best for the team, as they sat seventh after the first 18 holes. Head coach Matt Johnson that the weather did not help the team.
“We had all sorts of weather, and the rain the first day did not lead to good scores,” he said.
Day two brought what Johnson said was one of the team’s best rounds of the year. The five players shot a combined 10-over par to boost up the standings, before another odd weather day meant that a round 25-over was good enough to finish third.
“When you look at the score from the final round, it didn’t look the best,” Johnson said. “Considering the conditions, it was a very good round.”
Johnson said that one of the keys for the team this year was the depth that was present.
“We had five players that could contribute, then when we plugged some of the others in, they shot just as well,” Johnson said.
The team had averages in the 70s across the board, even the players not in the scoring five.
The team as a whole improved over the course of the year. Natalie Roth was the player that Johnson said impressed the most.
“She had a very good freshman year, and she was even more impressive this year. She was the leader this this year,” Johnson said of the sophomore.
The improvements of juniors Alex Schmid and Maggie Crippen increased the depth of the team, along with the play of seniors Hailey Boner and Cassie Wurm and a surprising freshman season for Emma Groom.
“Emma had a very good year, and she will improve over the years,” Johnson added.
When it comes to next fall, Johnson is very excited. With only two seniors, the team will remain for the most part intact for next season. The depth that was seen this season will mean the team is in a good position, and they will add three incoming freshmen.
When asked about performances of freshmen, Johnson said that in most sports it is hard for them to come straight in and contribute, but “there are always one or two that will surprise you.”
Next year, the Bison are looking towards the top, where the University of Denver currently sits.
“Is defiantly the most talented team in the conference, but the gap this year was closer than it was previously,” Johnson said about Denver.
With the depth of the current squad, and if the improvements continue to happen, there might be a chance that the Bison could knock the Pioneers off the top spot next year.