SPORTS PREVIEW: Golf girls hungry to finish higher

Depth is key for young team

 

The Forest Lake girls golf team poses for a picture following practice at the Forest Lake Sports Center. (Photo by Kat Ladwig)

The Forest Lake girls golf team poses for a picture following practice at the Forest Lake Sports Center. (Photo by Kat Ladwig)

Kat Ladwig
Sports Editor

After narrowly losing the Suburban East Conference championship to East Ridge and the Section 7AAA title to Andover last year, Forest Lake girls golf coach Andrea Brischke wants her team to focus on finishing strong this season.

“We’re working on mentally preparing, talking through different situations when on the course and hitting smart shots,” Brischke said. “There’s no reason for us not to win conference and to challenge Andover to win section and get to state. I know we have the team to do it; it all comes back to playing strong.”

Seniors Maggie Jeans and Maggie Breitbach are set to take charge as captains. Brischke credits both with strong leadership skills to accompany solid performances on the course.

Forest Lake returns some young guns in sophomores Kate Schaaf and Heather Claussen and ninth-grader Maddy Messin. All four finished in the top 25 at sections in 2013, with Schaaf taking 10th with a score of 170 over two days.

“She’s steady,” Brischke said. “If she has a bad hole, she doesn’t let it get to her.”

Both Messin and Claussen also earned all-conference honors last season, and Brischke is excited to have both back.

“Maddy kind of has it all — she’s been playing since seventh grade on varsity. She doesn’t get flustered and has a great swing,” Brischke said. “Heather is probably the all-around package. Her swing is flawless, and she can get birdies when she needs them.”

The head coach said that despite graduating key contributers Emily Proulx, Madison Wohlberg and Katelin Kruger from last year’s team, she has numerous golfers with varsity experience to keep the program moving forward.

“We’ve got depth,” she said. “I lost three seniors, but I’ve got three more girls, if not four or five, to replace them. Depth and experience are our strengths.”

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