By T.J. Cotterill, Sports Editor, The Western Front
After taking first place by four strokes at the GNAC Championship and earning the GNAC Player of the Year honor, Sophie Elstrott continued her dominance at the NCAA Super Regional Tournament last season, shooting a 227 for second place heading into the national tournament.
While certainly great accomplishments, they are not something the top golfer from the Western women's golf team will settle for.
"It was great, but my goal was to do better at nationals," Elstrott said.
She averaged a conference-best 76.6 per 18 holes during the season, but finished with an 80 after the opening round of the national tournament.
She would improve over the next three rounds to finish tied for 31st at 311.
Elstrott had the best performance on the team in the tournament, but it wasn't the outing she was hoping to have.
"I didn't play very well the first day and I was very upset about that," Elstrott said. "It was probably the most emotional tournament because I didn't want to end badly after the year I had going in."
Elstrott took a share of first place in three tournaments last season, which includes her medalist finish at the WWU Invitational Oct. 11-12, where she shot a 1-over 147. She tied for first with teammate Katie Sharpe.
Elstrott said she hopes to place individually in the top 15 at nationals this season, and that her team has learned from its disappointing performance in the tournament last year.
"Everyone on our team has learned a lot of lessons from last season," Elstrott said. "We are quick learners and I think we are going to do a lot better this season. I personally feel like I'm going to have a much better season just because I feel like I understand the game better."
It will be a difficult task to improve on the type of season she had last year. But if she truly believes she's going to be even better, then expect it to be a long season for whoever is matched against her.