Women's Golf 2017 Preview
ALBANY, N.Y.-- Capitalizing on current strength, the University at Albany Women’s Golf team will enter the fall season with a squad of veterans. Returning with the start of classes, the Great Danes have two weeks to prepare until their first fall tournament in Piscataway, NJ at the Rutgers University Golf Course. Colleen Cashman-McSween will enter her fifth season at UAlbany as the head coach.
“The fall season is always a whirlwind getting started and heading directly into our first tournament of the year. I try to emphasize with the team how important it is to remain competitive over the summer and practice hard because with only seven days of practice before the first event, that doesn’t leave a lot of time to sharpen skills,” said Cashman-McSween.
“I think everyone had a great summer and is really looking forward to getting the season underway.”
This season the Great Danes’ roster will be composed of six golfers, all returners and no freshman. “This season will be a team effort. For the first time in my coaching years, I do not have any incoming freshman to start the season simply because we had four freshman in the starting line-up last spring,” said Cashman-McSween.
“I think this brings a lot of pulses to this year’s team because they come with experience and knowledge of how everything works and they have been to most of the fall tournaments that we will be attending.”
Leading the team will be senior Annie Songuen Lee who holds the 2015 MAAC Individual Champion title. Other key assets include two top ten 2016 MAAC Championship finishers, sophomore Helga Einarsdottir (T-3rd) and sophomore Megan Henry (T-10th).
Although the team has added no new players, Cashman-McSween has added a new assistant coach to the program, Matthew Ragovin. Ragovin comes to UAlbany after an assistant coaching position at St. Lawrence University where he coached both men’s and women’s golf for a year. Prior to St. Lawrence he was an assistant at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA for two years.
“I’m super excited to have my new full time assistant next to me this season. It will be such a huge benefit to myself and the team to have both coaches on the golf course at the same time to coach simultaneously. Coach Matt has a lot of golfing and coaching knowledge and will be a great addition to the Purple Family as well,” said Cashman-McSween.
Graduating the top MAAC Championship finisher, Paige Fujihara, the team will be filtering through a new dynamic.
“I think the team dynamic has drastically improved every year since I’ve been coaching here and I think that is a testament to all the players that come in with the excitement of being part of the ‘Great Dane Family.’ Last year we were super young with only one senior, one junior, and four freshman in the starting lineup. So, I’m looking forward to the experience really kicking in and taking the golf program to new heights,” said Cashman-McSween.
“I believe the Fall schedule this season is a great mixture of events showcasing one Big Ten tournament and two Ivy League events as well as Delaware who has been a perennial powerhouse in the CAA,” said Cashman-McSween.
UAlbany will begin its fall season at the Rutgers University Invitational at the Rutgers University Golf Course in Piscataway, NJ. On Saturday, September 9th, the first day of the invitational, the Great Danes will shoot 36 holes, while on the second day, September 10th they will shoot 18. Two weeks later UAlbany will tee-off two 18 hole rounds on September 23rd and 24th at the Dartmouth Women's Golf Invitational at the Hanover Country Club in Hanover, NH. Then on Friday October 6th the Great Danes will travel to the Yale Women's Intercollegiate in New Haven, CT for its only three-day tournament on the schedule. This tournament will consist of three 18 hole rounds at the Course at Yale.
The final trip of the fall season will be to Rehoboth Beach, DE on October 21-22nd where UAlbany will compete in the Delaware Lady Blue Hen Invitational at the Rehoboth Country Club. The format of this tournament is 36 holes on day one, with 18 on day two.