With aspirations of building upon the success of its fall season, men’s golf is looking forward to its spring campaign. On March 22-23, the team will play its first match at the Sunshine Tournament in Port St. Lucie, Fla., jumping headfirst into its pursuit of the 2012 NESCAC title.
Led by co-captains Chris Valle ’12 and Jack Ervasti ’13, the team understands that its continued success in the future will stem not only from the players’ ability to get back into shape after a long winter but also from consistent scoring. Head Coach Rick Pohle, now in his 29th season leading the program, spoke to this: “The level of competition in college golf has risen tremendously over the years, and you have to be ready to compete in every event if you are to be successful as a program,” he said. “The more consistent our players can get, the harder it will be for our competition to beat us.”
Men’s golf saw multiple victories before the conclusion of the fall season. The team took first place at NESCACs and as a result, has the privilege of hosting the NESCAC championships on April 28-29 this spring. Additionally, the men finished ahead of rival Amherst 15.5-9.5 in the Mountain-Valley Challenge to close out the season on a high note.
As NESCACs draw near, the team is pressed for time in determining who will travel to compete. There is an element of healthy competition as the team looks to determine who will represent Williams individually at the championship. “We had a great fall season, and we have a lot of talent on our golf team,” Pohle said. “The thing we have to identify this spring is who the ‘hot’ players are as soon as possible and let them carry the torch. The split seasons for golf are short, and golfers tend to get streaky, meaning that when they play with confidence, the scores reflect that and they succeed.”
The team’s sophomore class of Ross Bowen ’14, Jake Abrahams ’14, Matt McCarron ’14, Dylan Dethier ’14 and Cody Semmelrock ’14 is exceptionally strong this year. The rookie trio of Jake Goldenring ’15, Jonathan Dely ’15 and Nate McCue ’15 hope to make big contributions in the upcoming season. Ryan Brand ’13, Wyatt Sparks ’13, Hrishi Srinageshi ’13, Alex Xu ’13 and Siwol Chang ’12 round out the team. After graduating four exceptional seniors last year, the team has showed excellent adaptation to a new team dynamic and hopes that this ability in adapting to adversity will be carried onto the course in the tricky situations golf tends to put forth.
“I think, as a team, we have a good feeling heading into the spring,” Valle said. “We played very well this fall. In order to stay at the top, we have all been working to step up our play on all levels. Part of this process has meant completely redefining our team identification over the winter and recognizing that we have the talent and work ethic to be a top 10 team in the nation.”
After a successful fall, Valle has high hopes for the team this year. “Looking further into the future, capturing another Little Three title and winning the automatic bid to NCAAs are also top priorities,” he said.
The men will compete at the Sunshine Tournament on March 22-23, and then will return to the East Coast for the NYU Spring Invitational at Suffern, N.Y.