Women’s golf heads to conference

By Sam Frost

Coming off a seventh place finish in last year’s MIAC Golf Championship, the Mac women’s golf team came into the 2012-13 season with high expectations. However, despite returning key players and adding much new talent, the team has struggled to meet its lofty goals, turning in several under­whelming finishes. With the season nearing its end and the championships coming up this Saturday, the talented squad finds itself reflecting on what might have been. “We’ve underperformed this year,” Maddie Arbisi ’14 said. “We have lots of potential, but overall we haven’t lived up to it. We expect a lot more out of ourselves.” “It’s been a disappointing season in terms of score,” Grace Caird ’13 added. “Personally, I haven’t reached my po­tential this year.” Despite the disappointing outcomes so far this season, the team knows it still has chance to salvage the season with a strong showing at this weekend’s MIAC Golf Championship (October 6-8). The Scots seek to recapture the momentum it gained at last year’s championship. Arbisi senses that re­demption is well within the team’s reach, saying that the team started this season playing at a high level, but couldn’t carry their preseason success into competition. “I hope we can figure it out,” Arbisi said. “Our problems don’t have to deal with skill; we need to get mentally pre­pared.” However, the team is hesitant to once again raise expecta­tions, given the manner in which this season has unfolded. “The focus hasn’t been there that’s needed to perform well,” Caird said. “We have to work to reach our goals, and we can’t just expect things.” The team will surely be prepped and fully focused for the tournament, but their thoughts will also be with Caird. The senior is playing in her final MIAC Golf Championship and is looking for a memorable ending to an outstanding col­legiate career, during which she has consistently been one of the team’s leaders and top performers. “I’ve been so lucky to play four years here,” Caird said. “I’ll leave knowing I’ve accomplished things.” Looking ahead to this weekend, she looks to put on a final performance that befits such achievements. Last year at the MIAC Championship, she shot 75 on the final day to cap off an 11th place finish (out of 50 players). “I just want to play how I know I can,” Caird said. “I’d love to hit my personal best, or at least something close to what I had last year.” In addition to her many accomplishments, Caird can also take pride in the promising situation she leaves behind. Re­ferring to long-term state of the Mac women’s golf program, she expressed excitement about the potential of those rising to take her place. “The program is moving in the right direction,” she said, “We have three strong freshman girls who put in the work and are committed.” Arbisi agreed with her teammate’s assessment, labeling the freshman class as one of the team’s strengths. “They’re all great girls, and they bring a lot of consis­tency to the team,” Arbisi said. Perhaps the most exciting of these newcomers is Jessica Stone ’16, who has already been the team’s top scorer at nu­merous events this year, including a 42nd place finish out of a field of 95 at the DIII Classic, and a 22nd place finish out of 78 players at the Concordia Invite. These feats are especially impressive when one considers the large differences between golf in Minnesota and her home state of California. “I’m still adjusting to the environment here,” Stone said. “High school is a lot different.” Although this season has left them searching for answers, the Scots can still look back fondly on the experiences that brought them together and created great team chemistry. Through team travel to various courses around the area, in­cluding the beautiful Wildflower Golf Course in Detroit Lakes, MN, the players bonded to form a close, cohesive unit. “The team has meshed really well this year,” Arbisi said. “Support is another one of our strengths.” The team is hoping that this chemistry and camaraderie translates into success on the course this weekend, helping them to bring the Fall 2012 season to a satisfactory conclu­sion. Such a performance would continue the steady rise of Macalester women’s golf and give further evidence of the program’s bright future. refresh –>