The goal for the Bradley women’s golf team remains the same each year: winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
The team began its fall season with a second place finish at the Redbird Invitational last weekend, three strokes back of champion Xavier.
The Braves made history at the event. Finishing with a total score of 888, the third lowest score in tournament history.
First-year head coach Halley Morell said she believes the team can go far this season.
“With [senior] Taylor [Ledwein] on the sidelines and having the five playing as well as they did and still finishing with a high score, it makes me feel like the sky is the limit,” Morell said.
Losing a team leader to an arm injury is usually a big blow, especially during the early part of a season. Morell was specifically proud of the team’s effort during the weekend.
“They really rose to the occasion and played their hearts out this weekend,” Morell said.
Sophomore Elyse Emerzian had the best tournament of her collegiate career, firing a 2-over-par 218 and finishing fifth overall in the tournament. However, she said that she needs to improve her overall shot distance.
“I was really confident in my game so I was able to commit to my shots and play the way I know I can,” Emerzian said.
This season marks the first time since the 2017-18 season that the women’s golf team has had a full-time head coach. Having stability at the head coaching position is the biggest change to a team mostly comprised of returning players, as freshman Mara Flaherty is the only new player on the roster this season.
Morell believes the team seems to be responding well to her new coaching style.
“They seem to understand my vision of what I’m trying to do and anytime I ask them to do something different they are willing to give it a try,” Morell said.
Morell is inheriting a roster that finished third at the conference tournament last season. She believes there is more untapped potential with this group.
“We are really seven deep,” Morell said. “All of our players on the roster have the potential to shoot really low numbers and if we keep working at things that are a little weaker, then we’ll do some really good things.”
The Braves look to continue their momentum as they travel to Yorktown, Indiana, to take part in the Cardinal Classic on Monday.