Rutgers takes fifth at Big East Champs
The Rutgers women’s golf team’s spring 2012 campaign came to an end when the Scarlet Knights took to the course for the final time yesterday at the Big East Championship.
At its conclusion, the Knights finished in fifth place, carding a 956. The fifth-place finish marked the second consecutive week with the same result and the third time this season.
Freshman Kortnie Maxoutopoulis and junior Brittany Weddell led Rutgers. Maxoutopoulis ended the event tied for eighth in the 40-player field. She carded a 229, along with six birdies and 29 pars.
Weddell complemented Maxoutopoulis with a scorecard of 239 and finished tied for 21st. She turned in a team-best 30 pars. The duo was a catalyst for Rutgers yet again, picking up where it left off last week at the Roar-EE Invitational, when both placed in the top 15 competitors.
The Knights were in third place Sunday after the opening round of competition. They played through tough wind and managed to maintain a slight lead over Louisville and Seton Hall.
But they could not hold onto the lead and slipped to their fifth-place finish.
Before the last event of the season, head coach Maura Waters-Ballard praised the team for its efforts throughout the year and the players’ mental toughness. She was pleased with the way they competed.
“They played well as a team this year,” Waters-Ballard said April 19. “They have been staying in the moment, not letting their emotions get to them. They kept their heads in the game.”
With the competition finished and the season in the books, the Knights return to Piscataway and hope to have a productive offseason. They have an opportunity to make one more run next season to a Big East title with their current roster before losing future seniors.
Waters-Ballard, who completed her 20th year as head coach, is grateful for the season she had with the Knights. She is ready for what is yet to come with a team she believes has a lot of potential.
“This has been a fun year,” she said. “This squad is very talented, and they prove it at every match. Every outing has been a blast, and I know that they will bring the same intensity.”
With another season under their belts, the Knights can now recruit this summer and add depth to the roster in time for the fall. Rutgers hopes to return ready for the fall 2012 campaign, when it begins its pursuit of a Big East title.