Women golfers’ debut shortened by rain
From start to premature finish.
That described St. Xavier University’s ushering in of its inaugural women’s golf season. After taking the course for the first time ever on Saturday at the Benedictine University Invitational, the Cougars saw their scheduled two-day stint at St. Andrew’s Golf Course and Country Club cut in half when bad weather visited West Chicago on Sunday.
That meant Saturday’s scores were the deciding ones, and the circumstances prevented freshman Katie Reno from perhaps making a charge at the top spot. As it was, she took third in a 66-person field with a round of 79. Backing her was freshman teammate Taylor Thompson, who carded an 83 that was good for a sixth-place tie.
Freshman Courtney Dudgeon shot a 92, which landed her in a tie for 26th. SXU did not record a team score since its roster currently consists of just those three golfers, but Cougars coach Mike Mandakas was nevertheless pleased with what he witnessed.
“The girls played very well in their first-ever [college] tournament,” he said. “They were bummed that the weather didn’t hold up for the second round, as they felt they could have played better. But this was a great start for our program.”
SXU was slated to return to the course this past Monday in the Chicago State University Invitational, a two-day event being held at Harborside Golf Course.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Buoyed by senior Brian Corcoran’s 10th-place showing, the Cougars wound up sixth in the team standings at last Friday’s Illinois Intercollegiate Championships in Bourbonnais.
Competing at Aspen Ridge Golf Course for the second straight week, SXU totaled 164 points. Corcoran covered the 8K distance in 25 minutes, 21.6 seconds, which left him just 20 seconds out of fourth place. Finishing two positions and 2½ seconds ahead of him was Trinity Christian College’s Andy Reidsma.
The Cougars’ remaining points came from the quartet of senior Chris Shellenberger (30th in 26:00.6), senior Brian Meyer (41st, 26:12.9), senior Chris Sarna (46th, 26:16.9) and sophomore Eric Hancock (64th, 26:35.9). Also competing on behalf of SXU were Kyle Counter (69th, 26:41.8), Abel Hernandez (82nd, 27:06.9) and Shane Kenney (84th, 27:09.9).
The Cougars’ Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference mate, Olivet Nazarene, won the meet with 52 points. Separating the Tigers and SXU were Lewis University, North Central College, the University of Chicago and Augustana.
The Cougars are idle this weekend. They resume action on Sept. 27 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational in Rock Island. Saukie Golf Course will be the race site.
Victimized by three consecutive shutout losses, the Cougars finally ended their scoreless drought last Tuesday by finding the back of the net in the 76th minute versus visiting Goshen (Ind.) College.
Unfortunately for SXU, junior midfielder Brandon Simoes’ goal represented the entirety of its offense, which left the locals still in search of their initial victory of 2013. The Cougars dropped a 2-1 verdict to the Maple Leafs at Bruce R. Deaton Field, their fifth straight setback.
Simoes’ penalty-kick marker came 20 minutes after Goshen had increased its edge to 2-0 on freshman Josh Stoltfus’ goal, which was set up by junior midfielder Caleb Longenecker. The Maple Leafs notched their first tally 20 minutes into the contest, when senior midfielder Jordan Berkey beat SXU keeper AJ Pfatschbacher on a header. Sophomore midfielder Chris Vendrely earned the assist after getting the play underway with a free kick.
Pfatschbacher made five saves. The Cougars put eight of their 13 total shots on goal, with sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez and freshman midfielder Edgar Ruiz both testing Goshen’s netminder twice.
SXU (0-5) took the field again this past Wednesday, as it hosted Cornerstone (Mich.) University.
With a slated encounter against the University of St. Francis postponed last Tuesday because of unseasonably humid weather conditions and rescheduled for Oct. 17, the Cougars went a full two weeks without a match before getting back on the court last Friday.
The time off gave SXU players plenty of rest, but may also have made them a bit rusty. On their return to action, the Cougars dropped a 25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 25-14 verdict to St. Ambrose University at the Shannon Center.
Junior middle hitter Marie Hackert led the way for SXU in the loss by totaling 12 kills, while junior setter Kelli Shaffer supplied the Cougars (3-5) with 32 assists, 13 digs and five kills. Also chipping in were junior libero Dominique Aramburu (18 digs), freshman defensive specialist Erica Harris (17 digs) and sophomore middle blocker Heidi Gregerson (eight kills, three total blocks).
Junior outside hitter Hannah Turner had a match-best 17 kills for the Queen Bees, who registered a team attack percentage of .243 (57 kills, 15 errors). By contrast, SXU ended the match with a .128 percentage, built off 41 kills and 21 errors.
The Cougars opened Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play this past Tuesday by hosting Cardinal Stritch.
Sophomore forward Lexi Cozzi provided the Cougars with some early offense by scoring a goal in the 22nd minute, but host Siena Heights countered with four straight tallies and eventually pinned a 4-2 defeat on SXU Saturday afternoon in Adrian, Mich.
Three of the Saints’ goals came within a five-minute span of the second half, beginning with junior forward Alexis Donnelly’s marker in the 63rd minute. That goal, which was set up by sophomore forward Mikayla Ferer, snapped a 1-1 halftime tie and put Siena Heights ahead to stay.
The same duo had been responsible for the Saints’ initial score in the 37th minute. Four minutes after Donnelly’s second goal, it was Ferer’s turn to find the back of the Cougars’ net, which she did off a Donnelly assist. Paige Frey’s penalty-kick goal completed Siena Heights’ onslaught.
Cozzi notched her second goal of the day in the 69th minute on an unassisted play. Freshman forward Mariana Hoerr earned the assist on Cozzi’s first tally, while freshman keeper Alex Perry was credited with 10 saves.
SXU (2-3-1) got its CCAC schedule underway this past Wednesday versus the University of St. Francis at Bruce R. Deaton Field.