We were two strokes under them at the end of the first day, said coach Le Ann Finger, but we improved on that and ended up with about 19 strokes less by the end of the second day.
Friendly competition is the rule between the two teams. Many of the Oles have formed friendships with Carletons players and the two teams even went out to dinner together after the first day of the conference meet. Getting together for best ball scrambles, in which the women hit off the best shot, has also been a tradition. The Oles also came close to passing up the day two score of highly ranked Concordia who came in with 197 in comparison to the Oles 206.
Concordia is one of three schools that have competed for the premier spot in the MIAC conference in recent years. The Cobbers ended their 2002 fall season ranked third, behind St. Thomas, who has now held the number one spot for two years in a row, and Gustavus. One factor that increased conference scores was the weather. Casual water in the fairways, tee boxes, and even on the greens made for a sloppy and difficult game. Horizontal rain coupled with high winds and chilly temperatures during the second day of play resulted in the scheduled 18 holes being reduced to nine. Even so, the Oles, like most teams, saw higher scores as a result of the poor playing conditions. Realistically, the course shouldnt have been played, said Finger. The team managed to deliver a stellar performance in spite of the weather. Abby Sprenger 04, was the teams lowest scorer. Sprenger said the day was made even more special by the presence of her mother, who left California for the chill of Minnesota in order to watch her daughter play. Sprenger has played the number two position for the Oles since the start of the season. Sunday was her second time coming in as the teams lowest scorer. Junior Naomi Schwegler was another key player coming in with an excellent score in spite of the playing conditions. Schwegler has spent this season playing the number one spot for the Oles and is looking to do the same during the spring season. Britta Anderson 04 also played well, shooting her personal best for the season. Overall Finger was pleased with the teams performance. The teams fifth place ranking is a step up from last year, when it finished sixth out of the nine teams in the MIAC.
Going into the season this year, our main goal was to finish fifth or better, said Finger. We achieved that goal and were very happy about it.