Women’s golf takes third in spring opener

By Tom Burton

DeKalb — An undefeated showing from freshmen Lauren Ingle and Sofia Gomez Enriquez Riart led the women’s golf team to a third place finish Monday and Tuesday.

The Huskies opened their season in a 12-team field at the Mid-American Conference Match Play event in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

Sitting as the No. 3 seed, the match play event for the Huskies began with the team facing No. 6 seeded Bowling Green in a quarterfinal matchup.

The Huskies handled the Falcons with match wins from Ingle, Riart and a 3-2 victory from sophomore Isabella Samudio.

“It was definitely nice to see our freshmen leading the way going 3-0 this weekend,” said Head Coach Kim Kester. “We haven’t had a chance to see them, and they definitely showed us how strong they are as match play competitors. We look forward to seeing how they do the rest of the spring.”

The Huskies faced Florida Gulf Coast University in Tuesday’s semifinal match, losing by a close 3-2 margin.

“[We] played a tough FGCU team,” Kester said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t close out the match and lost. Good to see Sofia and Lauren win their matches, but overall, not our best match.”

After the loss earlier in the day, NIU finished the tournament strong in the semifinal match against the Central Michigan University Chippewas, handling them with a 4-0-1 victory.

Ingle, Riart, Samudio and junior Kelly Anderson all won their respective matches with junior Brielle Ward ending her match all square. The Huskies finished in third place of the 12 teams in the field.

“We got off to a much better start in our afternoon,” Kester said. “[It was] great to see the ladies rebound and put together a good match from top to bottom. Definitely some positive to take away going into next week’s event in Vegas.”

The Huskies will have a short turnaround before heading to Las Vegas Monday for the Battle at Boulder Creek. Kester said she looks forward to the challenge of playing at a golf course the team hasn’t seen before.

“This is our first time going out to Boulder Creek, so we don’t really know what to expect for the course,” Kester said. “We are excited to get to a stroke play event and see how their hard work is going to pay off!”