La Plata falls to un­beaten North­ern

Jack­son fires 2-over 38 in loss to Pa­tri­ots

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Head coach Mickey Nor­folk cer­tainly didn’t see it com­ing, but the North­ern golf team re­mained un­de­feated on the sea­son af­ter a 153170 win over La Plata on Tues­day at Swan Point Yacht & Coun­try Club.

The Pa­tri­ots (11-0 over­all) had the top two golfers of the day — Matt Thom­son with an even­par 36 and El­iz­a­beth Cof­fren, who was a stroke back — and three of the top four golfers en route to the win.

“That’s good be­cause ev­ery time I saw my golfers they were un­der a tree or over the green, but it’s like what David said, ‘It’s golf. You never know,’” Nor­folk said, re­fer­ring to La Plata head coach David Rus­sell. “You see golfers strug­gling at the same things over and over and then you see some that look like they’re play­ing bad, but it’s just a hole or two and they’re [ac­tu­ally] hav­ing a good day. I have to give them credit; they man­aged the course pretty well to­day.”

North­ern recorded pars on 30 of 54 holes (55 per­cent) and had just nine dou­ble-bo­geys or worse. The Pa­tri­ots also had a birdie, by Cof­fren on the 406-yard, par-4 fourth hole.

The score was North­ern’s best of the sea­son,

eclips­ing the 156 it shot last week in a quad-match against Calvert, St. Charles and Great Mills. North­ern has not shot more than 163 this sea­son.

“We’re just phe­nom­e­nal this year,” Thom­son said. “We have so many good play­ers and so much po­ten­tial.”

“North­ern in my opin­ion is the best team, con­trary to other schools,” Rus­sell said. “I’ve been do­ing this for 12, 13 years and North­ern’s al­ways there, no mat­ter what. Those guys can play and they put the time and ef­fort in on the course and that’s why they’re the bet­ter golfers. As the CSM as­sis­tant head coach, I re­cruit a lot of their play­ers, and that’s not by co­in­ci­dence.”

The match was a shot­gun start with the No. 1 and 2 golfers on each team tee­ing off on Hole No. 3 and the No. 3 and 4 golfers be­gin­ning their round on No. 2. The No. 5 and 6 golfers teed off on the first hole.

Thom­son had seven pars on the day, in­clud­ing his last four holes.

“I hit a cou­ple shots that were a lit­tle way­ward, but the course was just play­ing good. The greens were nice and rolling good,” he said. “[No. 3] was a good open­ing tee shot and when you hit a good open­ing tee shot your con­fi­dence is just there. It was a good round.”

“We had a se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tion about his se­nior year and what he wanted to do, and he’s worked ex­tremely hard, even more so men­tally than I’ve seen him in a long time,” Nor­folk said of Thom­son. “He’s been play­ing lights out the last two, three weeks and I’m proud of him.”

Cof­fren had four pars and the birdie on her first five holes.

“I took my time and I played the course be­fore so I felt pretty good about hit­ting. I was putting well and hit­ting ev­ery fair­way pretty much,” she said. “I knew I needed to hit it straight and not push my­self to make stupid mis­takes. I played good, I’m happy with my­self.”

Tyler Potts of North­ern and Tyler Jack­son of La Plata each fin­ished with 38.

“Putting and chip­ping,” Jack­son said of the key to his round, which beat his pre­vi­ous sea­son-best of 41 he shot at Lake Pres­i­den­tial Golf Club in Up­per Marl­boro on Sept. 14. “You need to hit a lot of good sec­ond shots [on this course] and you need to keep it in the fair­way. It’s been re­ally good [this sea­son]. Coach is help­ing out a lot and it’s re­ally fun.”

“He wasn’t No. 1 un­til to­day and I put some pres­sure on him and he re­sponded,” Rus­sell said of his fresh­man. “You have to tip your hat to him. His dad drops him off at the golf course and he picks him up. He’s put in the time and it’s shown in the num­bers.”

North­ern’s Johnna Par­lett fin­ished with a 42 and Jake Glea­son of La Plata and the Pa­tri­ots’ Alex DiGirolomo were each a stroke back. Sa­van­nah Mad­dox of La Plata carded a 44.

“Sa­van­nah’s been solid all year,” Rus­sell said of Mad­dox, who he said had shot 44 all sea­son be­fore a hic­cup last week dur­ing which she and the team were bat­tling flu-like symp­toms.

Nor­folk said he’s some­what shocked the Pa­tri­ots are still per­fect on the sea­son.

“Yeah, I think with golf you’re al­ways sur­prised,” he said. His team is sched­uled to wrap up the reg­u­lar sea­son at 4 p.m. Wed­nes­day ver­sus McDonough and Patux­ent at Mel­lomar Golf Park in Owings. “I think we have the tal­ent to do well, but to not lose is hard in any sport. There’s a cou­ple things that have to go your way. I was wor­ried com­ing in here be­cause Swan Point is tough.”

La Plata (9-3) tied its sea­son-low team score. The War­riors are sched­uled to fin­ish up the reg­u­lar sea­son at 4 p.m. Wed­nes­day ver­sus St. Charles at White Plains Golf Course.

“I’m ac­tu­ally kind of ec­static be­cause our boys, es­pe­cially the young ones, are show­ing im­prove­ment,” Rus­sell said. “We have a very young team this year so I knew we were go­ing to strug­gle. We’re on a down year, we should be good the next years if all these kids can put in the work [and] some of these kids may need to take a long look at them­selves and what their pur­pose is as it re­lates to their golf game.”

“We can do bet­ter,” he added, “and I sus­pect in three weeks when the mean­ing­ful tour­na­ments [be­gin] that hope­fully we can per­form at our best.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

La Plata fresh­man Tyler Jack­son watches his tee shot Tues­day at Swan Point. The fresh­man shot a team-best 2-over-par 38 as the War­riors fell to North­ern 153-170.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

La Plata’s Quinn Krahling chips to­ward the hole on his way to a 46 Tues­day at Swan Point. The War­riors fell to North­ern, 153-170.

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