Article Courtesy of the MIPrepZone
If ever there was a season of dominance in girls golf, this was it.
For Oakland County teams that is.
Rochester left nothing to chance in 2016, as the Falcons won every tournament they entered, including the Division 1 state finals – where they destroyed a loaded field by 21 shots. Their Friday and Saturday team scores (310 and 308) were both better than the 17-team field’s 34 daily team scores. Only Novi’s 312 on Day 2 came close. And that helped the Wildcats finish runner-up.
Rochester won the Hartland, Lady Falcon, Troy, Holt, OAA #1 and OAA #2, Rochester, Oakland County Division I and regional tournaments en route to the school’s fourth state championship. It fired a state record 289 in its regional victory at Twin Lakes.
How did the Falcons do it? With great individual play of course. All five of the team’s regulars earned all-county honors, led by Dream Team members Brooke Busse and Veronica Haque.
They weren’t alone. The Dream Team is loaded with talent from top to bottom. Stoney Creek’s Lauren Ingle was a five-time medalist this season. Bloomfield Hills sophomore Mikaela Schulz was perhaps the hottest golfer in the state down the stretch, finishing top two at the county, regional and state tournaments. Novi’s Alexa Hatz, Lake Orion’s Moyea Russell and Farmington Hills Mercy’s Mia Sooch all led their teams to the state finals, where they all finished among the top 11 teams.
And let’s not forget Pontiac Notre Dame Prep’s Danielle Staskowski, the Division 3 individual state champion. She capped off her season in style.
Here is the squad, as selected by the Oakland County Golf Coaches Association:
ALL COUNTY GIRLS GOLF
Brooke Busse (Sr.), Rochester (Co-Player of the Year) – The senior got better as the season went along. Busse was medalist at the Lady Falcon Invite, co-medalist at the Rochester Invite and also topped the field at the regional tournament – shooting a 69. Busse was runner-up at Hartland and at the first OAA Red tourney, and finished third at the second league tournament. She was fifth overall at the Division 1 state tournament. Her stroke average for 18 holes (73.36) was second best in Oakland County. She was named to the state Super Team (top eight).
“Brooke is one of the toughest competitors I’ve had the opportunity to coach,” Rochester head coach Jeff Haney said. “She is a great team player and is the perfect example of setting goals and giving everything you have to achieve them. She had one of the best seasons in school history and I’m thankful I’ll get to continue following her golf career as she plays for Wayne State University next year.”
Lauren Ingle (Sr.), Stoney Creek (Co-Player of the Year) – Ingle started off the 2016 season on a torrid pace, earning medalist honors in four of the first five tournaments she competed in (OAA White, Troy, PCCS, Farmington). She was also co-medalist at the Rochester Invite, finished fourth at the regional, eighth in the county and ninth at the Division 1 state finals. Her 18-hole average of 72.50 was tops in the county, by nearly a stroke. She earned first team all-state honors in Division 1.
“Lauren will be remembered as one of the best golfers to ever graduate from Stoney Creek,” said her coach, Tony Lafferty. “Her four-year record while a student at Stoney Creek remains one of the most impressive high school careers in the history of girls golf within the state of Michigan.”
Veronica Haque (Sr.), Rochester – One of the mainstays on the state champion Falcons, Haque broke 70 twice while averaging 71.3 in her team’s first five tournament wins this fall. She finished with a 73.82 average for the season. Her pair of 69s earned her medalist honors at Hartland and Holt and she was top-five at both OAA Red tournaments, as well as at the Troy, Lady Falcon and Rochester tournaments. Haque was also a regional runner-up and finished eighth at the Division 1 state finals, and went on to earn first team all-state honors in Division 1.
“Veronica finished up one of the best careers in school history with another tremendous season,” Haney said. “Her mental toughness and work ethic have been a great example in our program over the past four years. I am thankful she’s playing college golf close to home at Oakland University next year so I can continue following her career.”
Alexa Hatz (Sr.), Novi – The senior started the season as consistent as can be, and ended it about as hot as one could be. She was medalist at the first KLAA Kensington tournament, helping her team to the win. She also led the Wildcats to the Lober City Classic (Traverse City) title after shooting a two-day total of 149. Hatz, who will play her college golf at the University of Detroit Mercy, was a regional runner-up and was fourth at the Division 1 state finals, firing a two-day total of 147. She was first team all-state.
“Alexa’s best quality as a golfer is how mentally tough she is,” said her coach, Megan Henry. “She never gives up and has high expectations for herself. She reaches every goal she sets because of this toughness.”
Moyea Russell (Sr.), Lake Orion – A mainstay on the Dragons for four years, Russell earned all-state honors every year she played. This season, she was a first team all-state selection after finishing the season with seven top-five finishes. Russell was the medalist at two different tournaments, one of which was the regional. She was runner-up at the Oakland County Division 1 tourney and was ninth at the Division 1 state finals. Set to play college golf at Southern Illinois University next year, Russell averaged 75.40 per 18 holes in 2016.
Mikaela Schulz (So.), Bloomfield Hills – Consistently near the top of the leaderboard, Schulz proved to be an elite golfer playing against some of the best competition in the state this fall. She finished first and fourth at the two OAA Red league tournaments, and was runner-up at the Oakland County, regional and Division 1 state tournaments. Schulz won the Highlanders Warm-up and was runner-up at the Lapeer Lightning tourney. The sophomore averaged 73.63 per tournament and earned 2016 state Super Team honors as one of the top eight players in the entire state..
“Mikaela is an incredible leader on and off the course, often giving her teammates the boost they need at key moments,” Bloomfield Hills coach Brendan Harrington said. “This girl has it all. Aside from being a fierce competitor on the course, she is one of the most kind-hearted, fun kids around.”
Mia Sooch (So.), Farmington Hills Mercy – Sooch came up big in some of the biggest tournaments her Marlins played in this season. She won Catholic League medalist honors, beating the field by four strokes – and helping her team to the championship. She was also a regional finalist, shooting a 72 to top the field at the Dearborn Country Club. Sooch finished top five at the Troy Invite and PCCS Classic and was top 10 at both the Farmington Invite and Oakland County Tournament. She earned first team all-state honors in Division 1.
“She knew how to complete after learning the high school team game in her freshman year,” Mercy coach Vicky Kowalski said. “We look forward to having Mia on Mercy’s varsity golf team for two more years.”
Danielle Staskowski (So.), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep – The only player who can claim an individual state championship on this year’s all-county team, Staskowski topped the field at the Division 3 finals in Battle Creek. She was also tops at the regional tournament, firing a 74. The sophomore was co-medalist at the Charger Invite and was second at the Orange Theory tournament. She earned first team all-state honors this fall.
“Dani has a refined knowledge of her swing and is consistently able to adjust accordingly to the demands of her game,” Prep coach Kyle Lilek said. “Her mental game is built upon positive self talk and her fluid pre-shot routine. She is a strong individual competitor and a positive role-model on her team.”
Coach of the Year
Jeff Haney, Rochester – His season resume can be summed up in one word: Spectacular. Read what the team did above. He led the way, helping the school to its fourth state title – and third under his guidance. He was voted Oakland County Coach of the Year by his peers and went on to earn Division 1 Coach of the Year as well.
Meghan Deardorff (Sr.), Clarkston – Was the co-state runner-up at Division 1 finals. Also top-five at Oakland County and regional tournaments. Was first team all-state.
Savannah Haque (Fr.), Rochester – One of the best freshmen in the state, she averaged 78.8 per 18 holes. Haque finished top 10 at the county tourney and was a regional runner-up.
Elizabeth Harding (Jr.), South Lyon – A first team all-state selection in Division 2, Harding had top five finishes six times this season, including a second place finish at the regional tournament.
Shikha Jha (Jr.), Troy Athens – The Oakland County individual champion averaged 78.3 per round this season. She also had top six finishes at the Lady Falcon, Davison and regional tournaments.
Alana Jones (Jr.), North Farmington – Won the first OAA White tourney (70) and was co runner-up at the Farmington Invite. She was seventh at the regional and was honorable mention all-state.
Abby Livingston (Jr.), Novi – Helped her team to a runner-up finish in Division 1. Livingston finished top 10 at two-day state tournament (151). She earned first team all-state honors.
Shana Murphy (Sr.), Walled Lake Western – A first team all-state selection in Division 2, Murphy was fifth at the state tournament after winning her regional. She was also top five at the KLAA and Oakland County Division 2 tourneys.
Abbey Pierce (Sr.), Bloomfield Hills – Helped her team to a top-three finish at the Division 1 state finals, firing a 76-79 over two days. Pierce was medalist at the second OAA Red tournament, fourth at the regional and top 10 at the Oakland County tourney.
Erika Yang (Sr.), Rochester – Had top 10 finishes at the Troy, Lady Falcon, Hartland, Holt, OAA Red and regional tournaments. Her 78.9 average per 18 holes helped her earn all-state honorable mention honors
Mallika Brar (Sr.), Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Kate Cao (Jr.), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood
McKenzie Chaisson (Sr.), Oxford
Carmen Chan (Jr.), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood
Jessica Niemiec (Sr.), Milford
Alexandra Robb (Jr.), Birmingham Marian
Sahiba Singh (Sr.), Troy
Sophie Vanderweele (So.), Farmington Hills Mercy
Avery Bruno (Jr.), Clarkston Everest; Cameron Coltrin (Jr.), Lake Orion; Elle Greenlee (Sr.), Farmington; Cate Joelson (Jr.), Birmingham Seaholm; Mia Korns (So.), Clarkston Everest; Julia Kraus (Sr.), Birmingham Marian; Lucy Liu (Jr.), Birmingham Detroit Country Day; Marissa Lobbia (Sr.), Farmington Hills Mercy; Hailey Roovers (So.), Birmingham Seaholm; Kiersten VanNorden (Jr.), South Lyon East; Keri Yang (Jr.), Rochester