2012-13 Stories of the Year (No. 4): Women's Golf is young, talented
MEQUON, Wis. – There were many great and inspiring athletic achievements throughout the 2012-13 athletic year at Concordia University Wisconsin. The list of top stories could have gone on and on, but only six were chosen (honorable mention and top five).
The list was compiled by the CUW Athletic Communications Department and a committee of coaches, and like all lists it is subject to debate. The list of stories will be revealed over the next six weeks with a story being released each Tuesday.
Women's Golf experiences NCAA Championship
Dominant, of course.
Young, you betcha.
Exciting, every time they stepped on the golf course.
Those are just a few words that describe the Concordia University Wisconsin all-freshman women's golf team during the 2012-13 season. A year that saw the Falcons win the Northern Athletics Conference by a record 104 strokes, set the NAC Championship low team score (342) and advance to the NCAA Division III Championship for the first time in program history.
In August 2012, there were many unknowns surrounding the seven rookie student-athletes that would make many memories as the season progressed. After several difficult tournaments to prepare themselves for the NAC Championship, Nina Puch (Des Plaines, Ill.) emerged as the team's top golfer.
However, Jordan Osowski led the Falcons with an impressive 89-87-85 performance to earn medalist honors at the NAC Championship. The Germantown, Wis., native had cracked the 90 barrier just once before the championship and led all players shooting 6-over-par on par 3s.
Even more impressive was CUW's ability to finish 1-2-3 individually. Puch carded a 92-74-98 to take second, while her 74 was the low round of the tournament. Emily Stephenson(Ashland, Wis.) stroked an 87-99-85 to take third overall. The trio, along with Lexi Westphal(Brownsville, Wis.) who finished in 10th place earned All-NAC honors. Head coach Jim Ingmanwas named NAC Coach of the Year for his leadership.
The fall portion of the schedule was a success, but the spring Wisconsin weather can be deceiving and bothersome for golfers. CUW eventually competed in two tournaments and several duals during April after many, many days of unplayable conditions hampered their practice rounds for the NCAA Division III Championship.
Knowing there were nationally ranked teams and individuals at the NCAA Division III Championship, the Falcons traveled to Sandestin, Fla., with one goal: Improve each round. It could have been discouraging after ending the opening round with a 393, but CUW shot nine strokes better after day two and was 29 shots improved after 54 holes.
It was only a matter of time before one of the Falcons caught fire on the windy and difficult Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort course. Puch settled down and fired a 2-under 34 on the back nine to start her round. She entered the clubhouse with a tournament-low-tying 72, which included four total birdies just two hours later.
There is one known fact about these youthful Falcons, their ceiling for improvement is extremely high. Considering what they did during the 2012-13 season, is it possible by the time this group graduates they could be one of the most dominate teams in CUW history?