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Women’s golf finishes fifth in MVC Championship

Then-sophomore+Brooke+Cusumano+tees+off+during+practice+in+April+2015+at+Carbondale%27s+Hickory+Ridge+Golf+Course.+Cusuamano+finished+second+overall+in+the%C2%A0Missouri+Valley+Conference%C2%A0Women%27s+Golf+Championships.
Then-sophomore Brooke Cusumano tees off during practice in April 2015 at Carbondale's Hickory Ridge Golf Course. Cusuamano finished second overall in the Missouri Valley Conference Women's Golf Championships.

Then-sophomore Brooke Cusumano tees off during practice in April 2015 at Carbondale's Hickory Ridge Golf Course. Cusuamano finished second overall in the Missouri Valley Conference Women's Golf Championships.

Then-sophomore Brooke Cusumano tees off during practice in April 2015 at Carbondale's Hickory Ridge Golf Course. Cusuamano finished second overall in the Missouri Valley Conference Women's Golf Championships.

By Jacob Gaertner, @JGaertnerDE

The SIU women’s golf team said goodbye to its lone senior Tuesday and placed fifth out of 10 teams at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in Chicago with a score of 926, 62-over-par. 

Wichita State won the tournament with a score of 884, led by freshman Taryn Torgerson, who finished in first at 2-under-par. 

Sophomore Hanna Netisingha finished tied for 12th, the best for the Salukis, shooting 13-over-par during the three-day tournament. Senior Mattie Lindner, +18, and junior Brooke Cusumano, +19, finished in the top 30. 

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Cusumano started the championship well, shooting 71, 1-under, and putting herself in first place after the first round on Sunday. She shot 81 and 83 in the next two rounds, dropping her to a tie for 28th.

“I’m a 21-year-old girl and I’m flawed,” said Cusumano, who finished second in last year’s tournament. “Sometimes the shots don’t go in as much as you’d like.”

Head coach Alexis Mihelich said Cusumano’s shots were solid throughout the tournament, but the putts just stopped falling on the second and third days.

Mihelich said she was happy with a lot of the shots that the team made, but the Dawgs shot above its average the last two days. 

In last year’s MVC championship, the Salukis finished third and scored a 904, 22 strokes lower than this year’s score. 

Lindner, the lone senior on the team, came out satisfied with how her collegiate career ended. She played her average and said she made lots of big plays, but had too many bogeys on the last day. She finished the final day with seven bogeys and one double bogey.

“There were a certain amount of shots that didn’t fall the way I wanted them to,” Lindner said.

Lindner played in 12 tournaments this season, finishing top three twice. Lindner averaged 78 for 18 holes in all four years, including a junior season where she played in all 12 tournaments, finishing top three in four of them.

Mihelich said the team will miss her personality and positivity, as well as her competitiveness and ability to recover from a bad round.

“She builds team chemistry between her teammates,” Mihelich said. “She’s a real leader of the team.”

The Lebanon, Ind., native earned the MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award last year as a junior and won first place in the Saluki Invitational that year. 

“It’s been a great ride. I’m really excited about the future,” Lindner said.

Jacob Gaertner can be reached at [email protected] or 618-534-3303

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