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Women’s and Men’s golf spring into action

Both Men and Women’s golf teams’ seasons are now well underway with the Men’s team having played two tournaments as of now, while the Women’s team has played one, with their home tournament slated for this coming weekend. 

Women’s golf had an early start to the season, playing their Spring Preview April 10th and 11th in Hastings, Minnesota. The season opener included seven out of the thirteen MIAC schools. During the second weekend tournament Carleton secured a 4th place finish, behind St. Catherine, Gustavus Adolphus, and Bethel. 

Alyssa Soma’24 stood out as Carleton’s top player, placing 5th individually. Her rookie performance scored a 157 for a two-day total on Emerald Greens, a par 73 course. However, she is apprehensive about the team’s preparation: “I think after the first tournament we definitely could’ve had more practice considering the other teams had a normal spring season.” Said Soma “The rest of the teams in the conference are on spring semesters, and most had less restrictions on practice and the involved travel. This resulted in the athletes coming into the tournament at a slight disadvantage.” 

The men’s team had a similarly fast start to the season, with a tournament during 2nd weekend. The Bethel Preview, also held at Emerald Greens in Hastings resulted in Anderson Murphy’23 achieving a remarkable individual player finish of 3rd place. He believes his great individual performance will be accompanied by a historic team performance: “We’ve shown flashes, we’re likely one of the best formed teams in Carleton history, and we only have five guys with one injured, so it’s pretty amazing what we’ve accomplished”. 

The Men’s team, however, had an additional tournament running through the end of third week and the beginning of fourth. The 2021 Bobby Krig Invitational started round one, Sunday, at New Prague, Minnesota, while Monday was played at LeSueur. Out of the fifteen teams participating, the Knights placed 12th. Peter Gullickson’21 held the top spot on the team, tied for 15th on individual player performance. Meanwhile, James Berger’23 remains hopeful that the team is on the upward trajectory: “We’ve only had a few tournaments, and I’m disappointed that I haven’t performed as well as I had hoped, but I’m excited for the last two tournaments. We’ve been doing better than a lot of previous years so hopefully we keep going at this rate and potentially finish better at the MIACs than we usually do.”

COVID-19 restrictions, both Carleton and government level, have completely changed how the season will play out. Usually athletes would play along with players from all schools, however due to the pandemic student-athletes are restricted to only playing with teammates. “We’re playing with our teams now instead of playing with other people. It took away some of the spirit of competition because you’re not playing with other school’s players, ” said Berger. For first-year Soma, this presented a different kind of drawback: “I’m a freshman, so it’s gonna be difficult to play and [at the same time] meet other players from other schools”. The changes are not all bad, Murphy argues, as the teams get more time with each other: “We get to play as a team, which creates a team atmosphere in golf which you don’t get usually due to its individual nature”

Both teams showed hope for good performance for the rest of the season, In particular, Soma believes the women’s team could make Nationals this year: “I hope we qualify for Nationals, we’ve been working really hard, I think the school would let us go to another state. From the way we’ve been playing, yes, we have a chance at Nationals”. On the other side of the aisle, the men’s coach, Jerry Ericksen has shown great enthusiasm for the team this year. “Coach is really hopeful, and you can tell he’s really excited. I think he wants to see us fulfill our potential, but he is all about the process.” 

Both teams still have much to go for the rest of their seasons, with two tournaments left to put up a great performance.

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