BECKER, Minn.-Moorhead Park Christian junior Emily Doeden was about to begin the drive back from the Minnesota Class 1A state golf meet Wednesday when she was asked when she'll begin working on her game for next season. She just wrapped up her fourth trip to the state meet and her eyes were already on the fifth and final trip next season.
"Honestly, this week," Doeden said. "I have a tournament next week. It's just a grind. I'll just keep going."
Doeden finished tied for third in Class 1A with a 157 over the two-day meet at Pebble Creek Golf Club. She finished tied with Fillmore Central's Grace Miller, one stroke behind Legacy Christian Academy's Sophie Gray and two strokes behind state champion Rachel Halvorson of Lac qui Parle Valley.
"I enjoyed my time on the course and getting to play with some of the same girls again," Doeden said. "Today was more of a battle than yesterday, but I fought and missed it by two. My expectations were obviously higher than a third-place finish, but I fought and I think that's all you can do."
Doeden entered Day 2 tied with Halvorson for first. She had made up two strokes on the back nine to end Day 1 with a 4-over 76.
"I felt like yesterday I didn't play as well on the front, but I came back on the back nine and made the putts I needed to make and hit the iron shots I needed to hit," Doeden said. "I started shaky (on Day 2) and I couldn't make the putts on the back to recover, so I felt like it was more a battle to save par."
Doeden had another 39 on the front nine on Day 2 and Halvorson gained three strokes on her. Halvorson struggled through the back nine with a 43, but Doeden could only answer with 42.
"This year I think I learned a lot about my mental game and how to focus in on hitting the shots when you need to hit them and how I can better execute next year and the preparation to get even better next year," Doeden said.
The Park Christian girls golf team finished third overall in Class 1A, the best finish in program history. The Falcons shot a 723 with Fillmore Central finishing second with a 715 and Lac qui Parle Valley winning the state title with a 714.
Park Christian got a 157 from Doeden, a 180 from Amy Jacobson and a 191 from Emily Stueland. Amanda Strom improved by seven strokes from Day 1 to Day 2. Her 96 was part of the team scoring for Day 2 and Grace Heinen's 99 from Day 1 rounded out the scoring for the Falcons.
None of the scorers for the Falcons will graduate, so it's hard to imagine the Falcons aren't back in the same spot next season. Doeden, Strom, Jacobson and Heinen are all juniors, while Stueland is a freshman.
"I'm so excited for our team and the way that each girl played and the teamwork and the things we've gone through to get to this point together," Doeden said.