Story by Mark Musgrave III, Sports Editor
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Aquinas Men’s and Women’s Golf this fall. With the young core on both sides, there has certainly been a learning curve. Six freshmen for the men’s side and five underclassmen for the women’s. Both teams are still learning the ropes.
“We want to set a standard,” said Mike Masten, head coach. “It’s a tough conference. This fall, we aim for a top five finish at each tournament.”
So far, the women’s team has five top five finishes since the Lynn Schweizer Invitational, and the men have three. So the goal has been met. In his third year coaching, Masten has the seeds of a successful program starting to grow for both sides.
As said before, there are lots of tough teams in the WHAC. The strongest forces of competition for the Saints are University of Northern Ohio, Siena Heights, and Indiana Tech. In their best efforts, the Saints aim to beat opponents using their strengths, most notably their short and long game, from the tee and on the green.
“Overall, our strengths as a team are driving and putting,” Masten said. “It’s what I emphasize most as a coach.”
In the home hosted Aquinas Fall Invitational, the men finished ninth of 14, while the women finished third of eight. Emma Franklin led the way while captain Kennedy Stoll finished close behind, and Calli O’Niell solidified her spot in the top ten. As for the men, freshman Kolton Stadt led the way placing 13 with freshman Anthony Lalomia close behind him rounding out the top 20.
So far this season, some names to keep your eye on are Harrison Chipman, who won Aquinas Athlete Of The Week a few weeks back. Junior Harry Moody is also having a great season. Junior captain Kennedy Stoll has been a pivotal player in the women’s program ever since she transferred from Saginaw Valley, shooting extremely well.
Looking ahead, the men have the Egypt Valley Championship October 10 and 11 right here in Grand Rapids, while the women have the Cornerstone Fall Invite October 17 and 18 at Thornapple Pointe. Both teams look to end with a strong finish for a good spring seed later this academic year.