Knights end fall portion with tournament wins
The Rutgers men and women’s golf team had different expectations when the fall season began. The men returned several key players from last year, while the women came back with a young lineup of five sophomores and two freshmen.
Head men’s coach Rob Shutte began the season expecting the Scarlet Knights to compete in every tournament and was not disappointed.
The team’s first accolade came in Sept. 13-14’s Rutgers Invitational, when junior Jacob Stockl captured first place to lead the Knights to a third-place finish.
In the Knights’ second tournament of the season Sept. 24, the team won its first event since 2009 at the 17-team Hartford Hawks Invitational in South Kent, Conn.
All five Knights were among the top-21 entries in the tournament. Senior co-captain Doug Walters led them, finishing tied for second at the invite.
Walters once again stood out during the Knights’ final fall tournament at the Lehigh Invitational.
The Blairstown, N.J., native seized his first-career individual tournament victory Oct. 28, beating out the rest of the 45-player field.
Walters’ performance, along with a strong showing from senior co-captain Jonathan Renza, helped the Knights secure their second tournament victory on the year and end the fall season with one of their best starts in recent memory.
For the women, head coach Maura Ballard knew there would be growing pains with the roster facing more experienced competition.
The Knights started the season relatively strong Sept. 7-8 at the Bucknell Invitational thanks to the impressive display from sophomore Gabrielle Sacheli.
Sacheli finished tied for eighth in the 90-player field to pace the Knights to an eighth-place finish.
The following tournament was the team’s strongest of the season, as the Knights finished tied for sixth Sept. 22 at the 17-team Yale Intercollegiate in New Haven, Conn.
The youth began to show in the Knights’ two road contests hosted by Big Ten opposition. In both the Penn State Invitational and Hoosier Fall Invitational, the Knights finished in last place.
Despite the poor results against future conference rivals, Ballard’s new coaching philosophy has the inexperienced squad going in the right direction.
As the teams prepare for the spring season, the expectations this time will be slightly different as both hope to compete April 20-22 for the AAC Championship.