The Michigan women’s golf team is in the midst of a youth
movement.

Following the highly successful 2001-2002 season — which
saw five graduating seniors guide the Wolverines to a school-record
six tournament titles — coach Kathy Teichert has looked to
incoming freshmen to fill the void. Last year, freshmen Amy
Schmucker, Brandi Zielinski and Kelly Easton stepped in. This year
true freshmen Brianna Broderick and Ali Stinson have been key
contributors.

Entering this season, the lineup was led by junior captain Laura
Olin — the only freshman to contribute to the
senior-dominated team that entered 2001 with a cumulative total of
23 varsity letters, 16 more than this year’s team —
along with last year’s trio of freshmen. There were two
remaining spots for Broderick and Stinson.

Coming to Michigan, these two freshmen knew they had the
opportunity to compete for spots in the lineup and contribute
immediately.

“Coach (Teichert) expected us to have a big impact because
we did lose a lot of seniors a couple of years ago,” Stinson
said.

But how big of an impact could two freshmen have?

“We were recruited by coach Teichert because we could
play,” Broderick said. “But, we have been told before
that we weren’t expected to come out and shoot lights
out.”

Despite high expectations coming in from their coach, both of
these young golfers have expectations of their own, and how they
approach their first year of college golf has set them apart.
Broderick is motivated by a clear set of goals, and one of those
goals is to finish the year with a scoring average below 80. With
two tournaments left in the season, her current average of 79.69
puts her goal within reach.

On the other hand, Stinson is less concerned about her numbers
and more about improving her game in general.

“I want to see myself improve throughout the year,”
she said. “I know that my scores have improved from the fall
to the spring.”

Despite a difference in attitude, the results have been similar.
Stinson is set to enter the Michigan record books, right behind
Broderick, as the fourth and fifth freshman to average less than
80. Stinson’s season average is slightly behind her
teammate’s at 79.76.

As a team, Michigan is sitting on the bubble for an invitation
to the Central Regional of the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines have
just two tournaments left in which to impress the NCAA selection
committee. The Central Regional committee will take 22 teams.
Teichert will need bigger contributions from her freshmen in order
to improve and secure a bid to the NCAAs.

“Bri has picked it up this spring,” Teichert said.
“Ali has been very consistent, but for us to be successful,
they both need to step it up another notch.”

Broderick and Stinson will spend every day of the next two weeks
practicing in preparation for their next event, the Lady
Boilermaker Invitational, played on April 17 and 18th.

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