Freshmen golfers show promise at Navy Invitational
Two international freshmen led the GW golf team to an eighth-place finish (605) at the 15-team Navy Fall Golf Invitational that wrapped up Sunday afternoon at the Naval Academy Golf Course in Annapolis, Md. Winthrop University won the tournament (575) while host Navy tied for second with Towson (577).
Canadian Andrew Gallo and Columbian Federico Guzman shot 147 and 148 respectively over the two-day tournament. The rookies’ performances were “a good sign for the future of the program,” said GW head coach Scott Allen, who expressed little surprise about their performances.
“With all of our freshmen, I’m very confident. Three others are in the mix to make the traveling team right now,” Allen said of rookies Brian Carroll, Dan Mirabella and Lee Hodder.
Productivity from the freshmen was not the only reason Allen had to be happy about his team’s performance. Of the fifteen teams in the field, all but three were ranked ahead of GW last year. Allen said they were able to beat teams they had not beaten in a few years.
“It was a solid finish for us,” the nine-year veteran coach said. “Not spectacular, but solid.”
Seniors Michael Ball and Brad Friedlander struggled over the weekend. Both Maryland natives shot 81 Saturday and 78 Sunday.
Ball pinched a nerve in his left elbow on Saturday and just did not play well Sunday, Allen said.
Friedlander struggled off the tee, an unlikely problem for a player who ranked sixth in the nation in driving accuracy last year (85 percent).
Junior Charles Taylor also played well, although his score could have been better, Allen said. He shot 149 for the tournament, but had a few 12 footers that just would not fall on Sunday. Still, Allen said he was striking the ball well.
The team played with Iona College and Temple on Saturday, and GW passed both schools with a first round score of 303.
Freshmen runners gain experience at Shepherd Invite
Only the freshmen on the GW men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Shepherd College Invitational Saturday, giving them “a chance to run their first collegiate race,” head coach Deb Hasfurther said.
The Shepherd Invite, located in West Virginia, allowed the rookies to feel the terrain and the heat of the competition. Sophomore Mary Beth McCullough said the freshmen already proved their depth at the Invite.
“We were really happy with their performance,” she said. “They add some valuable depth to the team.”
The Invite allowed the Colonials to officially begin their season and pull all their training into last minute strengthening for their upcoming meet at the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday.
McCullough said the team has been running a lot in the heat during the summer and doing trail work that should help in Saturday’s upcoming course.
Hasfurther said the whole team will run Saturday at the U.S. Naval Academy and “should pull together to run well.” The meet will be held in Annapolis, Md. at 11:00 a.m.
Water polo earns split at Navy Open
After losing its first two games, the GW men’s water polo team mustered a comeback to finish with a 2-2 split at the Navy Open in Annapolis, Md. this weekend. Junior Pat Dodge and sophomore Nick Koenemann each scored seven goals for the tournament.
“With each game, we got better and better,” head coach Scott Reed said of his team, which has just six returning members from last year’s squad.
“I saw a lot of positives this weekend and that’s great,” he said.
The Colonials finished the weekend with their strongest showing of the tournament, beating Salem International University 8-6.
The Colonials shot off four straight goals in the third quarter after trailing 3-1 at halftime, as Koenemann fired home four of his seven tournament goals.
Earlier that day, GW quickly jumped ahead of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 2-0 and never trailed. Reed said his team played solidly from wire-to-wire in the 8-7 victory.
In first-day action, GW dropped two games to the University of Puerto Rico and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. GW played better against Puerto Rico, but still came away with a 16-9 loss.
“We really started to click in that second game,” Reed said. “We were playing more physically and that is a very good thing.”
The Colonials opened the tournament against M.I.T. in their first game of the season. M.I.T. forced the Colonials into 17 turnovers and won the game 11-5.
“Our guys were still getting to know each other and we didn’t play a very good game,” Reed said.