BREMEN — Bremen girls golf coach Don Harrison believes if his team plays like its capable, there’s no reason his girls can’t break 200 every nine hole match this year. Take out one hole Thursday, and the Lady Lions were pretty much right on the money.
Bremen struggled with some high numbers on the third hole at Sprig O’Mint but still carded 200, easily beating out Knox’s 247 in the two teams’ Northern State Conference-opener Thursday night.
“Our number, I think we can always shoot below 200 this year,” said Harrison. “We’ve got at least four girls that can shoot in the 40s any given match, and if they all put those rounds together we should be under 200 quite a bit. As far as today goes, we had some struggles on some holes. The third hole seemed to give everybody a big problem — we were up in the 8s and 9s — so we’ve got to learn how to play that hole, and we need to putt a little bit better. But other than that I think they’re coming along pretty well.”
The Lions were led by No. 2 golfer Kayliegh Daily’s 48, while top-flight sophomore Alex Homann was close behind with a 49 in a solid one-two finish on their home course, while Kaitlyn Ahlenius and Melissa Krathwohl carded 51 and 52, respectively. Jamie Stafford turned in a 62 for her team’s fifth score, meanwhile.
The Lady Lions are off to a strong start to the 2013 season with all five players making their return from last fall. Daily and Krathwohl are both back for their senior seasons, while Ahlenius is a junior and Homann is joined by fellow sophomore Stafford. The team entered Thursday’s dual meet following a very respectable 388 for seventh place at the 15-team New Prairie Invitational Tuesday, where they beat out area rival Plymouth by three strokes.
Homann and Krathwohl both played regularly over the summer, said Harrison but some players are still shaking off the rust at the start of the season, and the team is off to a 1-1 start in nine-hole matches. He expects each of his players to consistently come in under 50 as the year unfolds.
“I think I really have four girls who can do that consistently if they put their minds to it. Alex I think is going to shoot in the mid 40s by the end of the season, hopefully low 40s. She’s already shot a 42 in a practice round. Melissa’s shot a 46 out there on the back nine, and Kayliegh shot a 47 and a 48 at New Prairie so we all can do that. The thing that’s new this year is we all do it at the same time,” he said.
“Some of us dusted off our clubs and came out to play this fall, but we all have a good time out here.”
While Bremen posted right around the score Harrison was hoping for Thursday, Knox’s numbers were a little higher than head coach Mark Abel would have liked to have seen.
The team was led by lone senior Sarah Coad’s 57, while Kindrick Joseph carded 59, Miranda Shepherd shot 62, and Elizabeth Krueger and Kourtney Wagner turned in dual 69s.
“My expectations are pretty high. We wanted to shoot around 220 today,” Abel said. “I think our girls still haven’t gotten their mojo yet; they’re still in summer mode. School just started on Tuesday. We do play a lot of golf for the first week of the season. Hopefully we can rest up, refocus and start moving forward for our next match next Monday.”
Like Bremen, Knox’s top five are all holdovers from last year. Coad is back for her final season with the Redskins, while the rest of the team are all juniors. Off to an 0-4 start against complete teams in nine-hole meets, Abel said his girls are still finding their games in the early going and, as his players progress, his hopes are high for the year.
“I’m pretty confident about what we have coming in,” said the Knox skipper. “We didn’t lose anybody last year. We only have one senior this year, and I’ve got a couple freshmen that it looks like are going to come aboard so we can keep this program moving. I really was hoping to shoot maybe a little better scores at the start of the season, but once again I think that once we start transitioning out of the summer back into school and golf they’ll definitely be more competitive once we get towards conference.”
Bremen’s next meet is a dual meet with Plymouth Monday on the Pilgrims’ home course at the Plymouth Country Club. Knox also returns to action Monday with a home match against Winamac at the Hamlet Golf Course.
• BREMEN 200, KNOX 247
At Sprig O’Mint (Par 36)
BREMEN (200): Alex Homann 49, Kayliegh Daily 48, Melissa Krathwohl 52, Kaitlyn Ahlenius 51, Jamie Stafford 62.
KNOX (247): Sarah Coad 57, Kindrick Joseph 59, Miranda Shepherd 62, Elizabeth Krueger 69, Kourtney Wagner 69.
JV scores: Gina Thorton (Bremen) 63, Jenna Landrum (Knox) 66.
Records: Bremen 1-1 (1-0 NSC), Knox 0-4 (0-1 NSC).