Small team, big goals

Women’s golf takes home early season tournament, sets eyes on making nationals again despite smaller team


Caroline Holloway, ‘18, is tied for seventh at the ongoing Golfweek Fall Division III Invitational. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Information.

Alden Ewing

Coming off a year when expectations were far exceeded, the Washington and Lee women’s golf team looks primed to have another strong season.

The team finished the 2014-2015 regular season ranked seventh in the nation. This earned the Generals an invitation to the NCAA Championship Tournament, where they finished 13th.

The team already has one tournament win so far this season. Last week, the women hosted their Generals’ Invitational at the Lexington Golf & Country Club. The team shot a combined score of 308 to clinch first place at the tournament.

The 2015-2016 squad is smaller than last year’s team, with only six members instead of eight. Still, Liza Freed, ‘18, said she and her teammates aim to make up for their lack of depth with excellent overall team play.

“Typically, if one or two of us are having a bad day, the other three of us will play well and even out the score,” Freed said. “We’re always there to support each other through thick and thin, and we all have a strong bond.”

This mindset is crucial to the team’s success, and getting these early wins has been huge for morale, she said.

Head Coach Pete Gyscek and Assistant Coach Matt Ragovin have also been pertinent to the team’s success. With four first-year golfers in the mix last season, the coaches had to bring a young team quickly up to speed. They did just that, leading a majority of rookies to five first-place tournament finishes and the 2015 ODAC title.

“We are a team made up of girls with very different backgrounds in golf, so our coaches work with each of us to make sure we get the most out of our practices and rounds,” Sara Moir, the lone senior and captain of the team, said. “Coach Pete is great at organization and makes sure we get to compete in the key tournaments that give us a strong schedule.”

Moir also said each coach’s golf IQ makes a significant impact on the team’s performance.

“[Gyscek’s] knowledge in golf is crucial to our success,” Moir said. “Coach Matt is very knowledgeable in golf as well and is a great source of support for all of us.”

While the Generals said they are certainly happy to be off to a good start this season, they have their eyes on a much larger prize.

“It probably goes without saying that one we certainly hope to win is the [ODAC] championship in the spring,” Freed said. “That win especially would help us get a bid once again to Nationals.”