Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, March 31, 2006
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Women Look to Continue Progress

After breaking numerous school records a year ago, the Muhlenberg women’s golf team is looking for an even better 2006 season.

The Mules played seven rounds last season in which they shot under 423 – a feat
Keiko Yoshida
Yoshida has improved her stroke average each of her first three seasons.
not previously accomplished in program history. Muhlenberg’s score of 829 at the Centennial Conference Championships – good for third place – broke the school record for the tournament by 48 strokes.

This year marks the third in a row Muhlenberg has not only increased the number of tournaments it entered, but the number of golfers on the team. The Mules lost just one golfer to graduation from that squad.

“The program is only getting better,” said junior Kristen Amore. “We lost a really good golfer, but we have a couple of new juniors and some promising freshmen. Every year I see more and more women golfers. It’s interesting to see [the program] grow here. Our team gets more and more competitive each year. Every time we get more girls, we know we can play in more tournaments as a team and have more depth.”

Amore set the program record by averaging 96.7 strokes per round in 2005. She finished sixth at the Centennial Conference Championships last year, one spot away from All-CC honors.

Sophomore Dana Lynn Bielecki, who capped off a successful freshman campaign with a seventh-place finish at the CC Championships, also returns. Juniors Lindsay Scott and Laura Fazio and the Mules’ lone senior, Keiko Yoshida, return after putting up some of their best career numbers in 2005.

Muhlenberg warmed up – despite the cold weather – with the Kutztown Spring Classic and the Mount St. Mary’s Spring Thing last week and hosts its own Muhlenberg Invitational on Monday.

“I love getting a chance to play on our home course,” said Amore. “It’s nice to be a host and play on a course you are familiar with. It’s also nice to go against Lehigh and other schools not in Division III.”

The Mules are also scheduled to compete in three tournaments hosted by fellow CC schools (Ursinus, Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg) prior to the Conference Championships, April 29-30 at Pilgrim’s Oak in Peach Bottom, Pa.

With the two schools that finished ahead of Muhlenberg at last year’s conference tournament, McDaniel and Gettysburg, both losing more golfers to graduation, the Mules will play this season to show the rest of the conference just how much they have grown.

“The conference lost some of its top golfers to graduation,” said Amore. “We finished third behind McDaniel and Gettysburg last year. It’s going to be close between the three of us this year, but we are capable of coming in second, if not first. We are going to put up a good fight for the conference championship.”

Men Hope History Repeats

The Muhlenberg men’s golf team is trying to replicate a strategy that worked well two years ago.

The Mules went to North Carolina for Spring Break 2004, started golfing before many of the other schools in the area, grew as a team and two months later, won their fourth Centennial Conference title in eight years.

After not traveling last year, the Mules went out to Phoenix, Ariz., for
Chris Walach
Walach averaged a team-best 80.0 strokes in four fall tournaments and tied for fifth at the Muhlenberg Fall Classic.
Spring Break 2006.

“I would hope so,” said senior co-captain Brian Farrelly of the connection. “We played every day, sometimes twice a day. The weather was nice, and we all came back ready for the season to begin. We grew as a team out there.”

The Mules can see just how far they have grown when they travel to McDaniel this weekend to compete in their first of six regular-season tournaments scheduled for the spring. The season wraps up with the Centennial Conference Championships, April 28-30 at Pilgrim’s Oak in Peach Bottom, Pa.

Muhlenberg is optimistic that it can prove last year’s seventh-place finish in the conference was a glitch. The team did get better as the tournament progressed, finishing with the third-best score in the field in the final round.

“We went in knowing we were the defending champions,” said Farrelly. “But we didn’t play that way. We have to treat every round separate and as if we are going to win it. This year’s schedule is good for us. We have a lot of new tournaments. Competition will be better this year. It’ll help prepare us for the championship.”

The schedule includes three two-day tournaments (at Bridgewater in the fall and at McDaniel and Allegheny in the spring) to help get the Mules in the practice of playing on back-to-back days, which they will have to do at the CC tournament.

Muhlenberg competed in four fall tournaments, including a second-place finish in its own Fall Classic. The combination of the fall experience, the spring practice and the newcomers sets the stage for a potentially exciting season.

“We have a little less experience than last year,” said Farrelly. “But we have greater potential. The talent of our new class is improved over last year. We expect to finish in the top three in the conference, if we don’t win it.”

Senior Chris Walach is the Mules’ other co-captain. He was named the team’s Player’s Player and averaged a team-best 80.9 strokes per round last spring. Muhlenberg also looks for contributions from junior Jonathan Harris and freshman Bill Snow, who both had good falls.

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Last updated March 31, 2006