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Soydara Wins Women's Title, M State Men Place 2nd at Spartan Invitational

By Craig Olson, 09/19/22, 10:45PM CDT


Ellia Soydara fired a second round 78 to win medalist honors in the women’s event at the Spartan Golf Invitational on Monday at Pebble Lake Golf Course in Fergus Falls.  The 78 was the low round of the tournament on the ladies side.  Her two day total was 159 (81-78).  The M State men shot the low team round of the tournament on Monday (305), but came up a shot shy to UM-Morris who shot 627 (322-305). 

“Congrats to Ellia on winning medalist honors and playing some great golf,” commented M State Head Coach Jason Retzlaff.  “She drove the ball extremely well, which allowed her to make six birdies over both days.  She also rolled some putts in which was great to see.”

The Spartan men carded four scores at 78 or better on Monday.  Leo Stepan finished runner-up overall with a 154 (80-74).  Ryker Stukenholtz (76), Mikey Vall (77), and Riley Stromlund (80) had their lowest rounds of the fall.

“Our men’s team on Monday played the best we have played all season,” reported Coach Retzlaff.  “While it is always disappointing to come up a shot shy of a win, three wasn’t anything disappointing about the way our team played.  Having four scores in the 70’s shows that our depth is getting stronger and stronger.  Leo has been close all fall and it was great to see him put it together with a 74 today.  Ryker was tremendous today and Mikey Vall played one of the best rounds of his Spartan career.  Riley had his most steady round of the season as well.  It’s exciting to see the confidence of this team grow as we hope to keep the positive momentum going heading into next weekend.”

Brady Raph of UM-Morris was medalist with a 140 (71-69).  Following Stepan and finishing in a tie for third was Stukenholtz (157 (81-76).  Mitch Lohre of Sisseton-Wahpeton was the other player tied for third place.  Braxton Kerstein of the Spartans was fifth with a 159 (81-78).

“Congrats to Morris on winning the men’s and women’s team events as they played some great golf,” added Retzlaff.  “Brady Raph was superb, shooting under par on both days.”

The Spartans will compete next on Friday and Saturday in two separate one day events hosted by UM-Morris.  Friday is at Minnewaska Area Golf Course in Glenwood and Saturday is at Pomme de Terre Golf Course in Morris.

Ellia Soydara with an approach shot. PHOTO by JEFF HAUKOS

Ryker Stukenholtz tees off on the 4th hole. PHOTO by JEFF HAUKOS