Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
KENT, Ohio - Central Michigan, in its third year of varsity women's golf, entered the third and final round of the Mid-American Conference Championship on Sunday with a very attainable goal: Catch its nearest competitor.
Instead, the Chippewas slipped, shooting a 329 team score to finish 10th in the Championship for the third consecutive season. CMU began the day in ninth place, a mere three shots behind eighth-place Eastern Michigan and 12 ahead of 10th-place Bowling Green.
Eastern Michigan shot 312 on Sunday, while the Falcons carded a 315. The Eagles finished tied for seventh with Ball State at 954, while Bowling Green was ninth at 972. The Chippewas finished two shots back at 974.
"It was disappointing because the conditions were a lot easier, more conducive to scoring today," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said. "We played a lot better in poor conditions the first two rounds, pretty consistent. There was no wind and we were in a position to move ahead of Eastern if we had played well. It was frustrating.
"We had some bad holes early on and I don't think we were able to recover mentally."
The Chippewas finished just two shots out of ninth place after finishing 38 out at last year's MAC Championship. In 2015, CMU was 53 strokes out of ninth.
And while those numbers are tangible proof of steady year-to-year improvement, Stacy said that she was overall disappointed in Sunday's finish, particularly in light of the fact that CMU was so close to eighth place at the start of the round.
"They knew where we stood," Stacy said of her players, who shot 324 and 321 in the first two rounds of the tournament. "We talked about it (Saturday) after the round. We had the ability to beat Eastern, and to not finish ahead of BG. ... They just beat us. They played better."
Sophomore Bria Colosky shot an 8-over-par 80 to lead the Chippewas on Sunday. CMU's Natalie Johnson, Holly Hines and Kristen Wolfe each posted an 83, while Danielle Sawyer shot 84.
Johnson finished with a 242 total and in a tie for 36th place in the 49-player field. Colosky finished one shot back, tied for 39th. Sawyer (244) finished tied for 41st.
Kent State closed with a 288 team total to win its 19th consecutive MAC title. The Golden Flashes, who are ranked 12th nationally, finished with the 54-hole event at Silver Lake Country Club with an 875 total and win by 34 shots over runner-up Northern Illinois.
Kent State's Michaela Finn shot 1-under 71 on Sunday to finish at 2-under 214 and capture the individual title. Kent State golfers finished in the top four spots.