Hudson girls golf team looks to repeat as sectional champ

Published:

by Frank Aceto

Associate Sports Editor

One Goodson graduated, while another Goodson is back on the course.

And if that wasn't enough for the Hudson girls golfers, they will get acquainted with another Goodson.

Or in Lady Explorers' fifth-year head coach Doug Snelling's case, reacquainted.

Hudson, which finished 10-2 overall and 8-2 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division, says hello to a pair of talented sisters after saying goodbye to one talented sister last fall.

The Lady Explorers, who finished seventh with a score of 378 at the eight-team Jackson Invitational Aug. 7.

The event took place at The Legends in Massillon, lost Nicole Goodson, a 2014 Hudson graduate who was one of the team's top golfers last year.

Fortunately, Nicole's younger sister, junior Julia Goodson, returns and is expected to be Hudson's top player.

Julia's other older sister, Natalie Goodson, a 2011 Hudson graduate and one of the greatest female players in school history, joins the team as an assistant coach. Natalie is currently playing for the Kent State University women's golf team.

"Nicole is an intern whose experience is invaluable to the kids," said Snelling, who enters his ninth year with the Lady Explorers. "She brings college tournament experience and mental toughness.

"She can talk to the girls during practice, but she can't talk to the girls at tournaments. She's going to tell me what to say. Having her is a big plus."

Natalie won't need to do too much to overhaul her younger sister's game. Julia is plenty good already.

"Julia continues to improve," Snelling said. "She is going to lead us in the No. 1 spot."

While Julia is expected to be the team's top player throughout the season, Hudson has plenty of talent on the roster.

Returning seniors Meredith Spitz and Moe Madar are hoping to take the next step after making significant strides in 2013.

"They finished strong last year and I expect them to be even better this year," Snelling said. "Meredith can push Julia for the No. 1 spot."

Junior Victoria Bartos also expects to be in the top four throughout the season.

Also returning to the varsity team is senior Mary Catherine Good.

The other varsity player is junior Erin Madar, who is Moe Madar's younger sister.

The junior varsity squad is led Marc Zustin, who enters his third year with the team.

"Marc brings a lot of enthusiasm," Snelling said.

Returning junior varsity players are juniors Avery Musnuff and Emma Rillero and sophomores Julia Cole and Alyssa Jordan.

Snelling also welcomes first-year freshmen Becca Meyer and Mattie Korane.

Last year, the varsity squad finished third behind Medina and Solon in the Valley Division standings. The other Valley Division teams are Strongsville, North Royalton and Brunswick.

The Lady Explorers won a Division I sectional title and finished 12th in district play.

"We have a solid team that has a chance to be very good," Snelling said. "We feel really confident that we can be competitive at sectionals."

Medina Highland won the Jackson Invitational with a 313 and Jackson (317) and Green (336) finished second and third, respectively.

Geneva's Danielle Nicholson and Jackson's Gabby Minor each shot a 72 to earn medalist honors.

Julia Goodson led the Lady Explorers with an 89. Rounding out the top four for Hudson were Spitz (94) and Good (94) and Bartos (100).

The Lady Explorers were set to play in the NOC Preseason Tournament Aug. 8 at Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna.

Results of those meets were not available at press time.

Hudson is scheduled to play in the Magnificat Invitational Aug. 12 at Sweetbriar Golf Course in Avon Lake. Play is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

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