By Alyssa Seidman
In the fall of 2014, the LIU Post athletics department became home to the new women’s golf team. With only three semesters of play under their belts, the team has proven they’re wedging their way into the annals of Pioneer sports history, according to head coach Tom Kane.
“The team has been doing quite well. In the fall, we played in four invitationals. We finished third out of 13 teams, seventh out of 14, fourth out of eight and we won our final tournament, the Revolutionary Collegiate Golf Classic, in Elkton, Maryland,” Kane said.
Kane, who previously coached the golf team at Smithtown High School, is determined to improve upon the team’s success this spring, a determination that is shared, of course, with the golfers. The team consists of six players, two of whom were a part of the initial roster in 2014. Since then, they’ve added three freshmen.
Shelby Townsend, a junior journalism major, and Alanna Jones, a freshman education major, shared their hopes of making this spring a hole in one.
“Our performance in the first few tournaments [last fall] was a little rocky, but I think we are all becoming more experienced, and everyone seems to be consistently improving,” Townsend said.
“For our team being very new, [we’re] working really hard to make a name for the Post golf program,” Jones said.
Kane mentioned that the team has petitioned to join the Northeast 10 – a national athletic conference – next year in order to give the girls more playing time. “That would open up more tournaments for us to play in as well as a conference championship. As of now, we are competing as an independent since the East Coast Conference does not have any other women’s golf teams,” he said.
Kane admits that he was anxious about coaching a team that was not well established in the athletics department. “I wondered whether we would get enough golfers to compete as a team. Some colleges start at the club level before they attempt to compete as a varsity sport; some take years before they have a full team,” he said. “As it turned out, we were very lucky.”
Kane believes that the growing popularity of girls’ high school golf will be a contributing factor to the number of students willing to try out for the team at Post. Both Jones and Townsend shared that the golf program was a deciding factor in their decision to come to Post.
“It was a goal for myself to play collegiate level golf, so when I looked at schools I only looked at schools with women’s golf programs. It was a definite plus that Post started a golf team,” Jones said.
Townsend said, “I transferred to Post from Loyola University of Chicago. I’d actually never heard of Post until I started contacting golfcoaches on the east coast, and they told me about the new team here.”
In its one and a half years. the women’s golf team has fostered athletic achievements both on and off the green, bringing in tournament wins and prospective students, proving to be a sporting success in the department.
“Golf at the tournament level is very demanding. Like all sports, it requires hard work, discipline and perseverance. Golf also demands sportsmanship, honesty and a spirit of never giving up and always trying your best,” Kane said. “These are lessons our players learn on the golf course, and hopefully will apply to the rest of their lives.”
The golf team placed second at the Revolutionary Collegiate Golf Classic in Elkton, MD. on Saturday, March 19. Hannah Pohalski finished second overall while Jones and Townsend carded a 92 and a 99 respectively. The Pioneers are back on the green on Saturday, April 9, when they tee-off at the Kutztown University Spring Invitational.