Written by Claire Booher.
The Lady Pirate’s golf team has started off this year with a bang. The men and women’s golf teams were left without a practice course when SU took their 9-hole course down to a 6-hole course to make space for two new soccer fields.
Despite these setbacks and with five returning players and one first-year, the Lady Pirates are determined as ever. High expectations were placed on the Lady Pirates after an amazing performance last year. The Lady Pirates won the SCAC championship for 2006-2007 and took fourth place in the NCAA Division III National Championship.
Returning players Kristen Davenport and Marisa Maudlin were both honored with All-Region for 2006-2007. Mauldin was also was named to the Duramed FUTURES Tour NGCA Division III All-American Second Team for the 2006-2007.
The Lady Pirates were ranked fourth in the Preseason Women’s Division III Golf World/NGCA Coaches’ Poll coming into this season. Last year, the Lady Pirates were ranked 11th. They have certainly shown that they deserve it.
This year’s team includes First-year Victoria Dominguez, Sophomores Kristen Davenport and Cody Wallace and Juniors Delilah Dominguez, Jenny Howell and Marisa Mauldin. Junior Delilah Dominguez is studying abroad in London for the fall; her return this spring will give the Lady Pirate’s another edge.
Once [Delilah Dominguez] returns the team will be even stronger than last year’s”, Davenport said.
Each player has contributed greatly to every victory, and with the team losing no seniors this year, the talent will be around for some time. The ladies are prepared and determined to give another stellar performance. They are coached by Dan Ruyle, who was awarded last year as the SCAC Coach of the year for spring sports. Coach Ruyle guided the Lady Pirates to their highest finish for the program.
The team started off the year with a second place finish in the Lady Bulldog Fall Classic with Mauldin finishing in first and Davenport finishing in fourth. Wallace finished in 26th place followed by Victoria Dominguez in 34th and Howell in 44th place.
The Lady Pirate’s had their first Division I tournament at the Princeton Invitational. They were able to compete against Princeton, Yale, Harvard and other Ivy League schools.
“We traveled to New Jersey for our first DI tournament this fall and it proved to be a challenge, but a great learning experience. There will always be room for improvement, but I feel we have had a solid performance this year,” said Mauldin.
The Lady Pirates were able to show that they could hold their own against some of the top ranked teams in NCAA Division I.
Although the team finished 13th out of 15 teams in the tournament, they came back the next week at the Mary-Hardin Baylor Fall Invitational and placed second, just under Tyler Junior College.
Mauldin finished second, behind first place by two strokes. Davenport finished in 7th, Wallace finished 14th, Victoria Dominguez finished 17th and Howell finished 34th. The Lady Pirates will be playing in the Trinity University Invitational October 15 and 16. It should be another good tournament for the Lady Pirates. This will also be their last tournament for the fall season.
The Lady Pirates are in a great position to not only repeat last year’s wins but to finish in a higher position. This is a great group of athletes that have worked very hard to get to this position and deserve every victory.
“We hope to win our conference tournament again and go to nationals in the spring. We have a pretty good chance of doing it because we have a great team with a lot of potential,” Davenport said.