Seniors leading girls golf toward SEC title

The Ranger girls golf team has been dominating the Suburban East Conference, as expected.

The Forest Lake girls golf team, led by the senior trio of Hannah Kohls, Maija Tanberg and Maddy Messin, has been rolling through the Suburban East Conference season. Through three conference matches, the Rangers had scored the maximum of 27 possible points in the team standings, enough to place them three points ahead of Woodbury.

In the SEC match at Woodbury on April 20, Messin had the top score in the field (38). Tanberg (40), Kohls (42), sophomores Emma Schaffer and Brooke Odland (both 48) and senior Anna Schmidke rounded out the Ranger card. At 168 strokes, the Rangers finished well ahead of runners-up Woodbury (186).

At the second SEC event, hosted by Park on April 25, Tanberg was the leader with 38. Kohls and Messin both came home in 40. Odland (45) completed the 163-stroke team total, which beat runners-up Woodbury by 25. Schaffer (47) and Schmidke (48) followed.

Mounds View hosted the third SEC match on May 8. Kohls was the individual medalist with 38. Messin and Tanberg finished with 42. Senior Emily Edstrom joined the varsity and completed the team total with 47. Schmidke (50) and Odland (54) rounded out the Ranger results.

“My top three are playing very well,” head coach Andrea Brischke said. “We’ve had three conference matches and had three different conference medalists.”

The Rangers competed at White Bear Lake on May 15 and were set to play 18 holes at Tanner’s Brook on May 18. This extended match combines a regularly scheduled home SEC contest with a makeup match, originally set to be hosted by Roseville, that was rained out earlier in the season.

The Rangers have also been busy with invitational play.

The Rangers finished third at the TPC of Blaine Invitational on April 17, led by Messin’s 78. They were second at the Preview Tournament April 28-29, with Messin and Kohls tying with a 164 two-day total. The Rangers won their home invitational on May 3 – Kohls led all players with a 78.

The Rangers placed third at Northfield on May 4 (Messin, 82), fourth in a state-level field at Red Wing on May 9 (Messin, 75), first at the Mounds View Invitational on May 10 (Kohls, 76) and second at St. Cloud on May 11 (Kohls, 80).

The Rangers now turn their focus to confirming their status as conference champions, and will then prepare to make their postseason run at the Section 7AAA tournament (Hinckley Grand National, June 1-3) and the Class AAA state tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on June 13-14. The Rangers have seen very little of their sectional competition this season, though they have defeated top challengers Elk River and St. Francis in invitationals. A normal day at sections should see the Rangers win.

“We do look at (sectional opponents), but in the end, I just need the girls to shoot the scores they’re capable of shooting, and everything else should fall into place,” Brischke said.

With a perfect day, the Rangers are capable of making a strong challenge for the state title.

“Edina is strong, and Red Wing has three solid players, so there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Brischke said. “We’ll need to play our best golf in order to compete with them, but we’re hoping that happens. The players are working hard.”