By Mallory Allen, Mara Allen, Lindsey Gloede & Abbi Pflum
The UW-Green Bay Women’s Golf team made history on April 25th, 2023, as they became the first team in Phoenix Golf history to win the Horizon League title.
The Phoenix started slow and steady, a reflection of how they started the golf season this past fall, with a performance that would leave them sitting in sixth place at the end of day one. The team regrouped and went into day two hungry for a place higher than sixth, and they found it. With a team score that put them just 8 over par, they launched from sixth to first place on day two. Top performances from day two came from Ashley Kulka, who scored a 72 (E), Isabelle Maleki scoring a 73 (+1), Ellie Frisch with a 76 (+4), Courtney Matschke with a 75 (+3), and Caylie Kotlowski with a 78 (+6).
Day three was just as spectacular as day two, with star performances from the same five players from day two. An exceptional performance came from Courtney Matschke, who scored a 71 (-1), a lifetime best for herself. Those performances were enough for the Phoenix to cling to first and celebrate the first-ever Horizon League title in program history.
The Phoenix came home with more than just championship hardware. Coach Lee Reinke won the accolade of Horizon League Women’s Coach of the Year, and Graduate students Ashley Kulka and Isabelle Maleki were named to the All-League Second Team.
The season was not over for the Lady Phoenix as they then looked to compete in the NCAA Pullman Regional, taking place in Pullman, Washington, on May 8-10 against teams like Cal Poly, USC, Texas Tech, and Sacramento State, just to name a few.
The Phoenix teed off at the Pullman Regional in Pullman, Washington, on Monday morning. This appearance marked the first NCAA Championship Regional appearance in program history.
Graduate student Ashley Kulka chimed in about the appearance at the Regional competition stating, “Being able to compete at this level is something none of us have done. It is a great experience; one the departing team members will never forget and one the returners can build upon in seasons to come”.
Isabelle Maleki, Courtney Matschke, and Caylie Kotlowski were early leaders for the Phoenix on Monday, where Green Bay was among only a few teams able to complete the opening round due to a 35-minute rain delay pausing the match towards the final three holes. The Phoenix were back at it bright and early Tuesday morning, where Ashley Kulka was shining bright as she tallied an even score. Maleki, Matschke, and Kotlowski were again strong competitors for the Phoenix.
The Phoenix rounded out the end of their 2022-2023 season on Wednesday, May 10th, as they finished 12th out of 12 in the Pullman Regional, where only the top five competitors advanced. This season has been one for the history books for the Phoenix as they made their first NCAA Regional appearance, the first ever Horizon League championship title, and tallied the lowest score in a Regional (918) since the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regional, where Youngstown State scored a 948.
A full recap of the historic season and the full roster for the 2022-2023 UWGB Women’s Golf team can be found on GreenBayPhoenix.com/sports/womens-golf.