Women’s golf season in review

Portland State women’s golf season resembled that of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland State women’s golf season resembled that of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Injuries shortened the roster, benched players stepped up to perform exactly when needed and the team finished the season better than was predicted—but didn’t make it to the finals. Even without the accolades of winning it all, the Vikings had a record-breaking year.

A back injury early in the season took senior Stephanie Johns out of five tournaments, leaving her frustrated and unable to compete.

“It wasn’t like a broken arm where you put it in a cast and it will be fine in a month,” she said. “It was ongoing and eventually healed enough for me to play, but still bothered me after rounds.”

The injury didn’t prevent her from scoring her best rounds of the season, though. Her lowest tally of 73 strokes came in the second round of the Big Sky Conference Championship. She also now holds the lowest career scoring average of 77.25 strokes, and is third in season scoring average in school history.

As the season shifted from fall to spring and the conference championship came within reach, the Vikings stepped up their game. Freshman Britney Yada scored the season’s lowest score of 69 at the UNLV Spring Invitational and lowered her average score to 76.37—the lowest season scoring average and yearly scoring average in school history.

Sophomore Tiffany Schoning tied the 10th best in single-season scoring average with 77.75 and set a personal record of 226 at the Big Sky Championships. The final feather in the cap for the team was winning the Big Sky Conference Championship, which sent them to the NCAA regional finals in California.

“It was just a great feeling,” Johns said “All our hard work and troubles throughout the season had paid off in the long run.”
Head coach Kathleen Takaishi didn’t leave the season un-adorned. She was awarded the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, an award that is especially important since the other coaches in the conference vote on the winner.

“Being voted in by your peers is a great honor,” Takaishi said.

This is the first time she has been given this award. Her predecessor, Felicia Johnson, won it three times from 2003–05.

All in all, the season ended very well for the Big Sky Conference champions. They are currently holding the yearly team score record with 310.1. With a healthy team for next year and new players coming on board, the team has strong possibilities for a great future.

As Johns says goodbye to PSU and her college career in women’s golf, she reflects back on her time.

“It’s weird to think I won’t ever play in a college tournament again, but it came to a close in a great way,” she said. “No regrets.”