RU finishes in last place at tourney

The Rutgers women’s golf team placed last at the 14-team Nittany Lion Invitational on Sunday in State College, Pa.

The Scarlet Knights carded a 951 in the three-round tournament, as freshman Taylor Clark led the Knights with a 235. She tied for 50th in the 92-player field.

It was a disappointing result for the Knights off of a successful sixth-place finish Sept. 22 at the Yale Women’s Intercollegiate in New Haven, Conn.

Head coach Maura Ballard believes the poor result will serve as a growing experience for the team to move forward.

“I think every time we go out right now serves as a learning experience for these young kids,” Ballard said. “I think that they got an eye opener on what it’s going to take to play good college golf, and I think this experience gives them something to work towards.”

Fellow freshman Maddy Gedeon pitched in a 240 score to finish tied for 65th. It was Gedeon’s second-career collegiate appearance after finishing tied for 47th at Yale.

The Roseville, Calif., native believes the increase in competition will only improve everyone’s game in the future.

“I think it’s a good thing that we have this happen so early in the season to gain that experience,” Gedeon said. “It was on a higher level than we have been playing, but we have a very young team so we learned a lot from this tournament. We’re only going to grow, and in the coming years I know we’re going to get better and be a great team.”

Sophomores Jackie Mullens, Samantha Moyal, Gabrielle Sacheli and Racquel Zurick comprised the rest of the Knights’ scorecard. Mullens and Moyal tied for 72nd, both carding 243. Sacheli finished 77th with a 244, and Zurick tied for 78th with a 245.

Kent State won the Invitational with an 873, surpassing second-place Yale by four strokes and tournament host Penn State by 14 strokes. The Golden Flashes also captured individual medalist honors thanks to Jennifer Ha carding four-under par with a 212 score.

While the weekend served as a wakeup call to the strength of competition the Knights will face next year in the Big Ten, Sacheli welcomes the step up in competition.

“Playing with people who are good players forces me to play better and forces me to work harder,” Sacheli said. “It definitely pushes me to work on my game a lot more and focus even more in future tournaments. Not every weekend is going to be a great weekend, and you have to keep your head up and keep working hard and the results will show at the next tournament. So if we keep working hard, we’re going to do very well.”

For updates on the Rutgers women’s golf team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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