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Irish travel to Michigan for meet

Eric Retter | Friday, September 10, 2004

Notre Dame will be back in action this weekend, traveling to compete in Ann Arbor, Mich., in the prestigious Lady Northern Invitational. This will be the second straight weekend in which the Irish have competed, as the team comes off of a third-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational. At the Invitational, they set the best mark ever by a Notre Dame women’s team in competition at Warren Golf Course, beating the previous mark by 24 strokes. Notre Dame will join the entire Big Ten Conference in the field of 12 and the group will be led by two top 25 teams, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 19 Michigan State. This weekend will be the first time Notre Dame has competed in the Invitational.”It’s a pretty prestigious event to be invited to,” coach Debby King said. With that prestige, as well as the strength of the field in mind, King has set modest goals for the weekend. “We’re shooting for sixth or better,” King said. “At the same time, you always believe in the back of your mind that you can win; you don’t go into a tournament without thinking that. We’re aiming to break 305 each round and let the chips fall.”The tournament will run all day Saturday and Sunday. It will be conducted in the “six-count-four” format, meaning six golfers will compete for each team, with the top four scores counting for the final team score. Senior Karen Lotta, who broke the Warren Golf Course single-round record on her way to a second-place finish last weekend, will lead the team this weekend, along with junior co-captain Katie Brophy. sophomore Noriko Nakazaki, junior Lauren Gebauer and sophomore Stacy Brown.In what says great things about the depth of the Irish team, four of the remaining five golfers are competing for the final spot. Senior Casey Rotella and junior co-captain Suzie Hayes were both fighting for the last spot, along with freshmen Jane Lee and Alejandra Diaz-Calderon. King will choose one of them to join the team in Ann Arbor shortly before the team leaves. Because of the depth of talent on the team, King’s job gets difficult before these tournaments.”It’s going to be tough to get the top five or six of our ten players each weekend,” she said.