UMN Crookston Men's Golf picked 10th in NSIC preseason poll, Women's Golf picked 13th

Times Report
Crookston Times

The University of Minnesota Crookston men's golf team was recently picked to finish 10th in the NSIC Preseason Men's Golf Coaches' Poll.

Winona State University was picked to finish first with four first-place votes and 71 points, while Bemidji State University was selected second with two first-place votes and 64 points. Matthew Chandler of Winona State was named the NSIC Preseason Golfer of the Year.

The University of Minnesota Crookston men's golf team looks poised to move up in the NSIC standings during the 2021-22 season. The Golden Eagles are led by the play of Connor Humble (Rosemount, Minn.), who returns for a fifth season. Humble is a three-time Top 20 finisher at the NSIC Men's Golf Championship. UMN Crookston also returns experience with Ben Trostad (Sr., Crookston, Minn.), Cade Pederson (R-So., West Fargo, N.D.), Keegan Poppenberg (Jr., Esko, Minn.), Matt Moroz (Jr., Edmonton, Alberta), and Spencer Dahlquist (So., Maple Grove, Minn.). The Golden Eagles are also excited about a talented group of newcomers with the additions of Layton Bartley (Fr., Fargo, N.D.), Devin Kucy (Fr., Camrose, Alberta), and Rory Wutzke (Fr., Camrose, Alberta).

"I feel this year's team is as deep a team as we have had here at the University of Minnesota Crookston for a long time," said Head Coach Brad Heppner. "We bring back a great group of upperclassmen along with three incoming freshman with a lot of golf experience. Every one of the guys has worked extremely hard on their game this summer and it will be very exciting to watch the progress of this team as we go through the 2021-22 season."

Humble was named the Golfer to Watch for the Golden Eagles. He returns after a strong four years in the program. Humble had an average of 76.8 last season, with a low round of 73.

"Connor Humble returns to the Golden Eagle men's golf team for his fifth season," Heppner stated. "Connor has played in the number one spot the last 3 years and his scoring average has improved every year. Connor is a proven leader both on and off the golf course. Connor was selected as a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar following the 2019-20 season. Connor will graduate with a double major in Finance and Sports and Rec Management in May of 2022."

Women's Golf

The University of Minnesota Crookston women's golf team was recently picked to finish 13th in the NSIC Preseason Women's Golf Coaches' Poll.

Augustana University was picked to finish first with nine first-place votes and 139 points, while Minnesota State University was selected second with two first-place votes and 122 points. Mackayla Olsen was named the Preseason Golfer of the Year in the conference.

The Minnesota Crookston women's golf program has a strong core of returnees for the 2021-22 season. Minnesota Crookston is led by sophomore Ellen Solem, who averaged an 88.5 on the 2020-21 slate. Abby Stender also returns to the fray after notching an average of 89.2 Tiffany Kozojed, Lachlan Larson, and Ciera Kotaska also return for the Golden Eagles. Minnesota Crookston also adds newcomers Denali Johnson and Clara Hanson.

"I have a great amount of confidence that this will be the best team I've had since I've been coaching women's golf," said Head Coach Bryant Friskop. "The amount of work and preparation that these young women have put into their game will have them ready come mid September. I know that I'm going into this season with higher expectations for myself and my golfers than in years past so that brings a ton of excitement to me"

Solem was selected as the Golfer to Watch for the Golden Eagles. She shot a low round of 82 last season at the NSIC Women's Golf Championship, where she finished 34th. Solem looks primed for a strong sophomore season.

"Ellen has a tremendous amount of potential and showed what she can do in tough conditions last year in the NSIC Championship," Friskop said. "Ellen shot an opening round 82 at NSIC last year and I know that she has what it takes to be able to get in the 70s and try to crack the top 15 in most tournaments that we play in. She has been working on her game all offseason and I can't wait to see her improvements."

The Golden Eagles open the season September 13-14 at the Tracy Lane Invitational in Bemidji, Minn.

Ellen Solem
Connor Humble