Golf team comes out swinging

The GW golf team is full of youth and talent this year, but teams with those characteristics usually lack experience. Not so with the Colonials.

The sophomores that dominate the 2003-04 team have been starters since the beginning of their freshman years, leaving the Colonials with plenty of experience and match savvy. Add a star freshman and a junior transfer from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and head coach Scott Allen said he likes the way his team looks.

“We’re a very deep team this year,” Allen said. “We’ve got eight or 10 guys that can shoot 72 in tournaments. If we have different people that can step up and shoot in the 60s and go low, we’re going to be a tough team to beat in the region.”

GW already showed its skill at the first tournament of the year, where the Colonials placed 3rd out of 14 teams at the Navy Fall Invitational. GW beat teams such as the U.S. Naval Academy, the College of William & Mary, Temple and St. Joseph’s – all teams that usually give the Colonials trouble. Georgetown was still able to outplay GW, however, as the Hoyas won the tournament.

The stars for GW in Annapolis should prove to be GW’s leaders all year. Sophomore Andrew Gallo was the low Colonial with a 72 in the first round and a second-round of 70. His overall score landed him in a tie for seventh place overall at the tournament.

“The third-place team finish meant a lot more than the seventh-place individual finish,” Gallo said. “It’s a great feeling, seeing other coaches complement your coach on the match. Being on a great team is really invaluable. I’d trade a personal win for a team victory any day.”

Gallo and fellow classmate Brian Carroll experienced both types of victories last year. First Gallo won the Temple Invitational in October and then, one week later, Carroll won the Lehigh Don Mershon Classic — a tournament the team won as well.

Like Gallo, Carroll emphasized the team this year over any individual player.

“We have a lot of guys that can shoot very well,” he said. “If we can get everyone playing together during the same tournament, it should be a great year.”

The team’s additions will have a big say in whether the team has such a year. Freshman Jack Tyler shot a 69 in his first round of collegiate golf in Annapolis and ended up finishing in a tie for 10th place. Junior Brandon Muir, a transfer from Louisiana-Monroe, shot two rounds of 73 to tie for 18th.

Sophomores Dan Mirabella and Federico Guzman will also compete for playing time. Both made their case by shooting impressive rounds at Navy despite being left out of the starting lineup.

The upcoming tournament at James Madison should be a good indicator of just how good the team can be, as most of the top teams from the region will be in attendance. The Yale tournament in October will also be a big test this year.

Considering GW finished in eighth at Navy last year, this year’s third-place finish could be an indication that GW will be vying for titles at upcoming events. If anything, it shows the Colonials can compete for one of the region’s five spots in the NCAA Tournament.

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