Rutgers sets sights on improvement at home
After a disappointing result Sunday at the Penn State Invitational, the Rutgers women’s golf team prepares to host the Rutgers Invitational beginning Monday.
Having had success at last year’s home tournament, the Scarlet Knights are confident they will do well. The Knights placed second out of 21 teams in last season’s invite, but three of their participants have graduated.
Despite the team’s youth, sophomore Samantha Moyal hopes she and fellow sophomores Gabrielle Sacheli and Jackie Mullens can provide leadership to the team from past experiences.
“I think I got a little ahead of myself last year. I wanted to do very well and show everybody I could play well, but that’s not how you shoot the low scores,” Moyal said. “You have to take it one shot at a time and put all that effort into that one shot without thinking about the past or the future.”
Freshmen Maddy Gedeon and Taylor Clark will also start for the Knights. With a strong performance from Sacheli as a freshman last year, when she finished tied for 11th, Gedeon believes she too can perform well regardless of her inexperience.
“I know that if I just focus on the game and not really focus on the results or on how anyone else is doing I can do well,” Gedeon said. “I know the course and I have shot pretty well there … so I know I can perform my best.”
The Knights feel they have an advantage because of their familiarity with the course. While Moyal believes playing at home has the team confident and excited to play, she also admits there is added pressure being the host.
“Naturally I think there will be more pressure, but if we stick to our plan and take it one shot at a time, I think that’s all we can do,” Moyal said.
Rutgers’ preparation focused much on its short game around the green, including chipping and putting to readjust to the course. The short game was also something the Knights felt needed improvement after looking at their stats this season.
Coming off their last-place finish in Penn State, the Knights feel the week off as well as playing on their own course gives the team a chance to regain some early-season momentum.
“We want to do well and continue improving as a team, but to also show that we are better than how we did at Penn State,” Gedeon said. “We know we can shoot low scores here, so we can really turn around the momentum from the last tournament.”