La Plata falls to unbeaten Northern
Jackson fires 2-over 38 in loss to Patriots
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.”
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.
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.