U hopes to regain edge at Indiana

by Ryan Schuster

Minnesota’s women’s golf team is hoping that a trip to Indiana this weekend will help them scrape away the cobwebs that accumulated during its three-month layover.
The No. 17 Gophers will compete Friday through Saturday at the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., in only the third scored competition of their spring season.
Minnesota had a strong fall season during September and October, accumulating three first-place finishes, one second and one eighth-place showing. Since starting its spring schedule in February, Minnesota placed second at the Midwest Classic Feb. 21-22 and ninth at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational Mar. 11-12.
“Were at a turning point right now,” Gophers coach Kathy Williams said.
Williams is aiming for at least a top four finish out of 16 teams this weekend.
“The way they’re going they should all shoot a 70 (3-under-par),” Williams said. “If we do that we should be in the top two.”
The team, however, has more ambitious goals for this weekend’s competition.
“Were looking to win it,” junior Amy Dahle said. “If we want to move on after Big Tens we have to beat Indiana and Ohio State.”
With only a month left before the Big Ten championships, the Gophers feel that they need to perform particularly well in their last two meets of the regular season. The team concludes the 1996-97 campaign at the Iowa Invitational in Iowa City on Apr. 19-20, and the Big Tens May 2-4 in East Lansing, Mich.
Minnesota is currently ranked fourth in the Midwest Region. The top three qualify for the NCAA regionals. Ohio State is the top-ranked team in the region, followed by Indiana and Missouri. All three will tee off with the Gophers at the Indiana University Golf Course this weekend.
The rest of the 16-team field will consist of Northwestern, Purdue, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois and Bowling Green.
Dahle, seniors Carolyn Klecker and Cathy Lindblad , sophomore Melanie Lepp and junior Keri Sawvell will compose the team’s lineup this weekend, with the top four scores among the five counting toward the Gophers’ point total.
Coming into this weekend’s competition, the Gophers find themselves at the crossroads of their spring season, with a possible NCAA berth hinging in balance.
“Were not out of it,” Williams said. “We have to have a strong performance at Indiana and Iowa, and we should get through it.”