Williamstown, MA–With the anticipation of the new fall season coming to an end, the Williams women's golf team gears up to improve on last year's successes and downfalls.
Last year was head coach Tomas Adalsteinsson's first year on the job after moving from Macalester University in St. Paul, MN. He brought a new focus to the team and was able to share his expertise in psychology to develop the team's mental as well as their golf games.
With Adalsteinsson's guidance, the team earned their eighth consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA tournament down in Houston, Texas at Bay Oaks Country Club. The 2015-16 national team returned everyone and was able to improve their fifth place standing to a fourth place finish this past May. After two strong days, the Ephs sat tied for second place with George Fox University, just five strokes behind Rhodes College, who later went on to defend their 2015-16 title. It was down to the wire for the last two days of the tournament but the tough back nine at Bay Oaks proved to be a challenge for the Ephs.
The 2016-17 national team graduated two key players, Tracey Kim and Sophie Kitchen. Kitchen was named a WGCA All-American Scholar for her junior and senior year. Both Kim and Kitchen have been integral parts of this team each earning their fair share of medalist awards throughout their time at Williams.
With the start of the new season just ahead, the team welcomes four new freshmen to the squad. Stella Woo from Timonium, Md., was the Maryland Junior Champion in 2017 and has experience playing in the fickle northeast weather from her years at Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Holly Davenport from Palm City, FL had a top 20 performance at the 2016 Optimist Championship and many top 10 finishes against a strong Florida field. Gabby Martin from Madison, CT is a dual sport athlete playing golf in the fall and spring and basketball in the winter. She was the Hartford Courant Girl Golfer of the Year and 2nd team All-FCWT in 2016. Mehr Sawant hailing from Holmdel, NJ was named 1st team All-Shore in New Jersey in 2015 and 2016.
This strong group of ladies will add to the depth of this team, in addition to our returning players. The Ephs are returning three players from their 2016-17 national team: senior captains Liz Gudas and Phoebe Mattana and junior Cordelia Chan. Both Gudas and Chan were named to the 2016-17 All-East Team and Gudas was named 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year. Mattana and Chan were named 2016-17 WGCA All-American Scholars (third consecutive year for Mattana and second for Chan) and Chan was named 2nd team All-American.
The remaining four Ephs have all been hard at work with the games and will certainly be competitive in making the traveling team. They include, senior captain Madeline Abrahams, junior Isabella Wang, and sophomores Renee Kwak and Cindy Wang.
"We have a good balance of experienced, successful returners and talented first-years. We have a large roster with 11 members, so we are lucky to have strong leadership with three captains from our senior class," Adalsteinsson said. "We are ready to start tournament preparation. The team has a lot of fun together on and off the course, and it's a privilege to spend all this time together as a team."
The Ephs' fall season begins on Sept. 16th when they compete in the Wellesley College Invitaitonal that will conclude on the 17th.