2012 Spring Preview: Defending Section 3AAA champion Woodbury girls golf team back for moreAfter a year hiatus from what was previously almost an annual appearance in state competition, the Woodbury girls golf team returned to the state tournament in 2011.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
After a year hiatus from what was previously almost an annual appearance in state competition, the Woodbury girls golf team returned to the state tournament in 2011. This spring, however, the Royals will be tasked with the challenge of filling the golf shoes of standout Mary Sweeney if it hopes on a repeat performance.
“We have a young team,” Woodbury co-head coach Andi Palodichuk said. “They all played a lot of golf over the summer and we are already seeing a lot of improvement in all our team members. We also have seven new players on the team.”
Last year, the Royals qualified for the Class AAA state tournament, winning the Section 3AAA championship. Led by Sweeney, a 2011 grad, the Royals scored a 712 two-day total to edge second-place Rosemount’s 719.
“In our hearts we knew they had a chance of getting there,” Woodbury co-head coach Courtney Den Herder said at the time. “Did it surprise us? Yeah, there was a little shock to it. But, it was a hard-fought battle and a huge accomplishment. It just goes to show how much work they have done.”
The state appearance was Woodbury’s 13th, which tied the Royals with Hastings and Edina for the sixth most trips to state by a girls golf team in Minnesota. Sweeney was the medalist both days of the two-day section tournament as the Royals won the section championship. For the tournament, Sweeney shot a 159, which was 12 strokes better than the second-best individual finisher.
At state, Sweeney finished in third place — one stroke back of the co-champions. She recorded a 4-over par 149 during the two-day tournament. Cretin-Derham Hall’s Celia Kuenster and Stillwater’s Cassie Degg finished in a tie for the championship after they each carded a 148.
In the team competition at state, Woodbury finished in eighth place with a 745 total score. Wayzata won the team title with a 661 two-day total, topping second-place Stillwater by seven strokes.
Four key players return from last year’s state-entrant squad – Katie Moore, Maggie Sweeney, Rachel Letsche and Annemarie Fisher. Moore, Maggie Sweeney and Letsche are the team captains this year.
It’s believed that Stillwater and Cretin-Derham Hall will be the teams to beat in the conference this year, while Eastview and Rosemount will be the main challengers in the section.
Woodbury tees it up for the first time this spring on Monday, April 16, at the TPC Twin Cities Golf Course. The team then hosts the first varsity conference match of the season on Thursday, April 19, at Prestwick.