By Kelsey Kremer
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
A combined 239 rounds, 25 top-10 finishes, two seniors, and one new point of view. Seniors on the nationally ranked Iowa State women's golf team, Laurence Herman and Victoria Stefansen have emerged as leaders during their four years in the program. As their golf games have improved so has their team's outlook.
"They have been awesome leaders," said head coach Christie Martens. "They have really changed the attitude of the whole program."
Since joining the team in 2007 both golfers have emerged into different leadership roles on the team and are an integral part of the outstanding season the team has seen this year including a fourth place finish at the Big 12 Championships, the best showing ever by a Cyclone team at the tournament.
"Lo (Laurence) has become more and more of a team person," Martens said. "She has embraced the team concept, and she is such a tough competitor."
Herman has recorded 12 top-10 finishes in her career at Iowa State and is only one of four Cyclones to ever place in the top-10 at the Big 12 Championships.
"I think I work the hardest on the team and I try to maintain that," Herman said. "My teammate Vic (Victoria), she is louder than me, she motivates the team by talking. I think I am more of an example in working."
Herman's goals are pursued by hard work. Her work ethic has had a positive influence on her golf game and team's performance.
"My attitude has changed a lot," Herman said. "I used to be a lot more aggressive and my emotions would carry me away sometimes."
The team has become more positive in Herman's four years.
"We are positive, but realistic," Herman said.
Stefansen has played a crucial role in motivating the team as well. "She brings everyone on board," Martens said. "They all get along really well and have fun together and a lot of that's due to Vic."
Stefansen wants her entire team to get along. She pushes her teammates in practice and tries to build a positive environment on the course.
"They call me mom," Stefansen said. "I think I have definitely changed some attitudes and tried to make us more of a whole team that cares about each other."
In Stefansen's four years in the program she has seen the team's attitude change.
"It's become a much more competitive environment here," Stefansen said. "Everyone wants to be here and wants to be better. It's a super positive environment."
The senior's playing has improved individually too.
"I'm more confident and comfortable on the golf course," Stefansen said.
Stefansen has notched 13 top-10 finishes in her career. She earned Big 12 Golfer-of-the-Month honors in February and tied for fourth at the Big 12 Championships.
After graduation Stefansen is looking to get a graduate assistant position in the US to coach golf and get her master's degree. Herman plans to go home and play for the Belgian team and eventually try to qualify for the European tour as a professional.
"(Herman and Stefansen) are great leaders for our program and ambassadors for the university," Martens said. "They have both given so much of themselves for the team. What they have done to get our program where it is today is amazing."
Herman and Stefansen will be leading their team to the NCAA West Regional tournament as the number seven seed team on May 5-7 at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash.