The GW golf team will travel to Middletown, R.I., this weekend for the Atlantic 10 Tournament. If the Colonials can win it, they will earn the program’s first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Brian Carroll, the team’s top player, said his team has a good shot at winning the tourney. He also said his team’s experience in poor weather conditions could help if the volatile New England weather acts up.
“I think we have a good chance,” he said. “I think it’s probably going to be windy, so the scores probably won’t be as low as some other tournaments. Other teams play more down south and maybe the windy conditions might throw them off a little. We’ve been used to playing in that type of weather, and we have a good chance of beating them.”
Head Coach Scott Allen’s assessment was more succinct but echoed Carroll’s sentiments.
“We’ll be one of the three or four teams that has a chance to win,” he said. If the season’s results are any indication, Allen may be right. The Colonials finished 23-3 against A-10 opponents this year.
For such a young team, Allen also said this year’s Colonials have been great in clutch situations and that the trend should continue in the future. Carroll, along with fellow sophomores Dan Mirabella, Federico Guzman and Andrew Gallo, have packed a strong punch at the top of the lineup.
“The core of our team is made of, really, four sophomores, three of them who have really stepped up,” Allen said. “Brian Carroll had a phenomenal spring. Dan Mirabella has been a real steady presence; we know he’s coming in with a good number every week. Andrew Gallo was our No. 1 player in the fall and really carried us since then.”
After struggling in the fall, Carroll has a team-leading average of 75.6 strokes per match. He has been named A-10 co-Performer of the week twice this year.
“I made a small swing change at the end of the fall season, and it’s helped me greatly in the spring,” Carroll said. “I’m pretty much playing the best golf I’ve played so far in college.”
Allen also pointed out the vast improvements of his two freshmen, Raman Luthra and Jack Tyler.
“Tyler really got off to a great start, but Luthra had a really strong spring,” he said. “Those two guys went from being solid players in the fall to being strong players in the spring.”
The players said they appreciate the huge effort Allen has made to elevate the program. Now in his 10th year of coaching, he has built the Colonials into one of the top teams in the conference.
“He’s always been very supportive and motivates me to play well,” Mirabella said. “I feel comfortable playing with him because I know he respects how we play. Our team used to not be very good at all, and over the past couple of years we’ve been getting better and better; a lot of that is attributed to the way he recruits and how he gets us to practice.”
Players said their biggest accomplishment this year has been winning two tournaments, the Rehoboth Beach Invitational Allen said the team’s low point came last fall, when the Colonials ended the season by finishing in last place at the Old Dominion-SeaScape Invitational.
“It left a bad taste in our mouth on what should have been a great fall,” Allen said.
Since then, the Colonials have rebounded and have been working hard to meet their own high expectations.
“Coming into this season we felt like we were ready to make a move in our district,” Carroll said.