Women’s golf tees off with skyhigh expectations

With an all-veteran line-up, the women’s golf team looks to use its experience to win another ODAC


Caroline Holloway, ‘18, was one of three first-year golfers to be on the All-ODAC team last season. Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Matt Kaminer

The 2014-2015 campaign was a season of “firsts” for the W&L Women’s Golf team.

The Generals claimed their first ODAC Championship, earned their first bid to the NCAA Championships and had both their first All-East Region and All-American honorees in Mary-Frances Hall, ’18, and Liza Freed, ‘18. However, despite finishing among the top 15 teams at the NCAA championship, the squad remains unsatisfied.

“We definitely put a lot pressure on ourselves to place well at Nationals and that pressure is what led us to not doing as well as we would have hoped,” Hall, who was also the 2015 VASID Rookie of the Year, said. “As a result, we’ve really worked hard this year to stay in the moment during our tournaments and not let the expectations or pressures that we may have for ourselves get into our head and cause us to not perform well.”

The team returns all but two players from last year’s group. While there are no first-years on the roster, Caroline Holloway, ’18, believes that it has helped maintain continuity from last season.

“I love our group and the fact that we’ve stayed together has made this season very special,” Holloway said. “In a way, it feels like a continuation of last year.”

The team certainly maintained their winning ways in the fall campaign. The team won the Generals’ Invitational in October and recorded a top-five finish at the competitive O’Brien Invitational in Indiana.

“We definitely had some very strong showings during the fall both as a team and as individuals,” Hall said. “I know that each one of us has the potential to play even stronger golf, though, so I am excited to see how we’ll build upon some of the things that we may not have done as well doing the fall during this spring portion.”

With the weather unseasonably warm and primed for golf, the Generals are carrying their momentum from the fall into their spring practices.

“The weather has been much better for getting prepared for the spring season this year,” Sara Moir, ’16, said. “We’ve been able to get outside to practice much more than in previous years.”

The players concede that none of the success would be possible without Head Coach Peter Gyscek and Assistant Coach Matt Ragovin.

“Coach Pete and Coach Matt both push us to work really hard in practices, but at tournaments they make sure we focus on having fun and enjoying the experience,” Moir said. “That really helps us keep from getting too stressed out, which is crucial to being successful in golf.”

Although the team maintains substantive goals, including defending the ODAC Championship, Moir claims that one of the focal points of the upcoming season is to just enjoy playing golf.

“In order to have an even stronger finish than last year, we have emphasized the importance of just having fun and not worrying about having high expectations,” Moir said. “Of course we still want to win ODAC’s and go back to the NCAA’s, but in order to do that, we are going to try and approach tournaments as just another opportunity to get out play the game we love.”

The Generals open their season on March 7 at the OWU Taylor-Made Adidas Intercollegiate Tournament in Beaufort, S.C.