As freshmen move in across from the New Haven Green, Yale’s golf teams head back to the putting green.
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams are aiming for an Ivy title this coming spring. After a disappointing sixth-place Ivy finish last year, the men’s golf team has retained all but one of its players, and hopes the extra year of experience can help reclaim the Ivy ring it earned in 2011. The women’s team returns the dynamic junior duo of Sun Gyoung Park ’14 and Seo Hee Moon ’14 along with two freshmen — Deanna Song ’16 and Michelle Fogarty ’16. Members of both teams said they are excited to begin competing in September.
“I think we’re going to be really strong this year,” men’s captain Brad Kushner ’13 said. “Everybody’s been improving. I can’t wait to go to our first tournament.”
While the fall season does not culminate in an Ivy League Championship, each team hopes to gain experience from fall competition. Women’s captain Alexandra Lipa ’13 said that the upcoming season is a chance to scope out the other Ivy League teams and get a better feel for where Yale stands, while William Davenport ’15 of the men’s team said the season will provide an opportunity to establish the Yale team as one to watch.
The men’s team graduated its captain, Jeff Hatten ’12, but will look to new teammate Joe Willis ’16 to help fill the hole. The squad will still miss the leadership and talent of Hatten, Davenport added.
“Our captain last year was a natural leader, someone we all looked up to and a close friend,” he added.
Kushner, who said becoming captain had been a dream of his since age 10, added that he hopes to lead the team to improve its national ranking. Kushner explained that the Yale men’s team will play more national powerhouses in the fall season, which will give them the opportunity to climb the rankings faster.
The women’s team also said farewell to its former captain, Lily Boettcher ’12 as well as Callie Kemmer ’12 but gained Song and Fogarty. The freshmen will hopefully help the women’s team on their way to victory, Lipa said. They will be playing alongside experienced players such as Caroline Rouse ’15 and Park, who finished 25th at the Pure Silk Women’s Collegiate Team Championship this summer.
Both teams are looking back on last season’s Ivy losses as motivation to regain focus on training throughout the fall and spring.
“I know we knew we were capable of winning Ivies, and we had a really great season, [so it was] definitely disappointing,” Davenport said, “We’re going to come back a stronger team and more prepared to win Ivies,” he added.
Harvard won the women’s Ivy League Championship last year, while Yale came in third behind Penn. The team is especially motivated to beat rival Harvard this year, Lipa said, adding that she believes the Ivy League Championship is within reach this year.
The women’s team will kick off the season Sept. 15 at the Dartmouth Invitational, and the men’s team will begin competition Sept. 17 with the Adam’s Cup in Newport, R.I.