The Lehigh men’s and women’s golf teams will compete in their season opening tournaments this weekend.
The men’s team will travel to Colgate University for the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational, while the women’s team will play at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Invitational tournament. Both teams will compete on Sept. 7 and 8.
The men’s team graduated three seniors last year and currently consists of five freshmen and two seniors.
“We have a young team this year, so it’s new but also exciting,” senior captain Ryan Kelly said. “We get to figure out who we are as the season goes on and restart our culture a little bit. It seems like all the freshmen are adjusting really well which is always a good sign.”
In his final season at Lehigh, Kelly hopes to play up to his potential and end his college career on a high note.
“I know it’s kind of cliché, but I just want to take it one turn at a time, one shot at a time and play my best,” Kelly said.
The women’s roster has also undergone significant changes since last season. The team is welcoming four new freshmen, who will join one junior and two seniors.
“We want the freshmen to have a smooth transition and [we want to]teach them the values we have believed in these last few years so they can continue on after we graduate,” junior Angela Ding said. “There’s a whole new team dynamic, but through our practices recently, I can tell they are all really good players and are ready to compete.”
Women’s coach Mary Kate Lynch praised her team’s upperclassmen for their efforts in making sure the new players feel welcomed and receive proper guidance to ensure their success.
She said leadership becomes especially important at the beginning of the season when new players are in the process of acclimating to both the team dynamic and the heightened level of play.
“Leadership has been great,” Lynch said. “The upperclassmen have been making sure the freshmen don’t have questions about missing class while traveling, making sure they have rides to practice and ensuring that they feel supported.”
Lynch said she feels confident that her team could walk away with a good result this weekend and a potential win.
Men’s coach Henry D’Alberto said finding the right balance between the individual and the collective is also crucial in a sport when team members compete independently, but the total team score is dependent on everyone’s performance.
“The best thing each and every player can do is focus on their own game while they’re out there competing and try to do the best they can,” men’s coach Henry D’Alberto said. “As they do that, it ultimately helps the team.”
The women’s and men’s teams will compete in four and five tournaments this fall respectively, culminating with the Lehigh Invitational in late October. They will then resume tournament play in the spring and finish off the year with the Patriot League Championship in April.