Huskies battle for second place finish

By Tom Burton

Playing in the No. 1 slot for the Huskies, junior Kelly Anderson paced the women’s golf team with a third place overall finish Tuesday in the Battle at Boulder Creek.

The Huskies finished second overall in the tournament behind four top-20 finishes, including Anderson (81-71-74 – 226) shooting a final round of 74.

“We’re so happy to see Kelly have a good tournament,” said Head Coach Kim Kester. “It was great to see her close out her round under par [Monday]. She is playing some good golf right now, and we know she will continue to improve this spring.”

Freshmen standouts Sofia Gomez Enriquez Riart (80-75-79 — 234) and Lauren Ingle (78-77-80 — 235) finished in 16th and 18th, respectively, with sophomore Isabella Samudio (81-75-80 — 236) rounding out the top-20.

“It’s nice to come back with some hardware,” Kester said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t play to our potential but still gave ourselves a chance at winning. We continued to do well from tee to green [but] had some difficulties around the greens.”

Kester said the green speeds and slope changes at Boulder Creek were challenging but also noted tough weather conditions as something the team needs to work on adjusting to.

“[Monday] we saw all the elements of wind, rain, hail and cold,” Kester said. “We need to get better at managing those types of factors.”

NIU struggled in Monday’s opening round. Junior Brielle Ward had the team-best score of 77. The Huskies were forced to count an 80 and an 81 in their first round.

With Boulder Creek not being a lengthy golf course, Kester said short game may have been the difference in winning the gold and the silver in this event.

“We need to improve around the greens,” Kester said. “It’s hard when you don’t get consistent rolls, and it will mess with our confidence. Improving our lag putts and speed with all putts is definitely going to be a main focus in the next week.”

The Huskies have an extended break before heading to the desert Feb. 23 to play in the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational in Rio Verde, Arizona.