The Minnesota State Women’s Golf team were back in action Monday and Tuesday for the Wayne State Invitational. The Mavericks finished in second place with a total team score of 608.
The 10-team event was held at Wayne Country Club, a 5,918-yard course that plays to a par-72 in Wayne, Nebraska. The winner of the competition was Augustana. The Vikings beat the Mavs by a whisker, with a total team score of 607.
To go along with an excellent team performance, Junior Anna Cihak is the woman of the moment. Cihak shot a two-under 70 on her way to victory in the Wildcat Classic. The winner of the two-day event started her round rattling off 10 straight pars before registering three straight birdies over holes 11,12 and 13. Cihak finished the competition with six birdies, which tied for second. She also logged 23 pars, which was tied for third.
One of the things that head coach Alex Schmitz credited for her tremendous outing was her ability to stay in the present.
“I would say she hit 85% of the fairways or better and hit probably 14 out of 18 greens in regulation and just stayed in kind of in the present and never got too far ahead of herself,” Schmitz said.
On her way to victory, Cihak didn’t record a bogey until her 17th hole. This led her to not look back and keep her eyes on the prize.
“She gave her opportunity on a lot of holes and capitalized on hitting some good shots and giving herself eight or ten feet for birdie. I was with her for all three of her birdies and we got a good line and she made a good stroke and they went in,” Schmitz said.
As a team, the Mavs led the competition in scoring on par fours with a 4.26, which was 26-over, six shots better than the runners up in that department, Wayne State, which got a 32-over. The squad also finished with the second most pars in the event, 101, while producing the third-most birdies, 17.
A huge feather in the team’s cap will be their performance on day two of the event considering their past struggles in previous competitions on that day lingering in the back of everyone’s head. The team showed a lot of mental toughness as they were able to overcome another windy day out on the golf course.
“Paradise Point, the wind came up on us and that kind of got to us and we struggled in the wind. I just think having those couple days outside and the women knowing that, hey, you’re going to have to club up, it’s okay to not hit the same club, or you got to flight the ball down a little bit,” Schmitz said. “Just being confident in playing in the wind and not ever second guessing it made a big difference. Day two was solid and they played very very well in the wind.”
Between the two days, the Mavs remarkably didn’t have a women’s player shoot over a 79. After losing by only one to the best team in the conference, third in the region and 38th in the country, the group is in a good place mentally.
“We were leading by three with two holes to go. So to know that we can have a lead on a team that’s that good, I think the momentum is just going to carry forward,” Schmitz said. “Obviously Anna finishing the tournament at one under par is an unbelievable score on that golf course, in that wind. I think her head and everybody’s head is just in a really good spot.”
The Mavs have their sights set on the NSIC Championship April 28-30. The team hopes to keep the momentum train rolling as they look to finish the season strong.
Write to Mohamed Warsame at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header Photo: Junior, Anna Cihak, won first place at the two-day Wildcat Classic event in Wayne, Nebraska. (Courtesy MSU Athletics)