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Tiger Woods returns

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Tiger Woods made his official return to golf this past weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla. It’s been a year since Woods has played in an official PGA tournament and a couple years since any sort of consistent run of play, and the anticipation for his return was immense all over the sports world. He shot 72-71-70-72 throughout the tournament, earning him a final score of three under par and tied for 27th place. While this was nowhere near the dominance that Woods displayed on the course in past years, it was definitely a positive start for the world’s former no. 1 golfer.

“I’m very pleased, after not playing for a couple of years and then coming out here on the tour and really playing a solid four days,” Woods said in a post-tournament interview.

Woods has been plagued with back problems for the past few years and has had four procedural surgeries that aimed to alleviate some of these health concerns. The strength of one’s back muscles are vital for one’s golf swing, and as a result, Woods’ game suffered. During this period of time, he dropped from No. 1 in the world to No. 647. This most recent performance at Torrey Pines has already had a major impact on his PGA ranking, and rocketed him up 108 spots to No. 539. This is the highest Woods has been ranked since his peak, when he spent 653 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world.

Woods fall from No. 1 began in 2009 when he was at the center of one of the sports world’s most infamous scandals. “The National Enquirer” and other news outlets uncovered that Woods was having multiple extramarital affairs during the six years he had been married to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren. These were a very messy few years for Woods as he fell from the pinnacle of the golfing world. Rightfully so, the average American sports fan turned their back on Woods, who had once been heralded as the greatest golfer to ever live. He was dropped by nearly all his sponsors and slowly started to fade away from the sport of golf. Unfortunately, at the same time, Woods body started deteriorating with age, and the knee and back surgeries started to pile up. To add insult to injury, Woods received negative media attention again in May 2017 when he was arrested for a suspected DUI. He had been persistent in saying he would make a return to golf, but it seemed increasingly unlikely as Woods fell further into irrelevance. However, particularly following this tournament performance, there is definitely hope that Woods could return to No. 1.

On the contrary, though, many understandably want him to stay away from golf,  in light of his past actions. Many have cast a moral judgement on his actions and believe that his infidelity scandal and reckless driving charge should be enough to keep him away from the sport for life. This was evidenced by one fan yelling during Woods’ birdie putt on the par five 13th hole during the Farmers Insurance Open. Woods ended up missing the putt and the fan was swiftly escorted off the premises. Woods has always been an incredibly polarizing character on and off the course, and it seems like nothing has changed.

Yet, it cannot be denied though that Tiger Woods has a positive impact on the sport of golf. The majority of the tournament was so crowded by fans following his 18-hole days that you seldom could see him. Other PGA stars like Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama were experiencing much less attention. People love watching Woods not just because he is one of the most accomplished golfers ever, but because he is so daring and lively on the course. He brings energy and intensity to a sport that often lacks it. He attempts shots that his counterparts would never undertake, and can regularly be seen cursing, screaming, and cheering, all viewed by the older golf establishment as “unruly and unorthodox.” Tiger never cared. Woods has won 14 major championships and is one of only five players to ever win a Career Grand Slam, which includes the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship. The golf world is buzzing with excitement to see if Woods, now 42, can stay healthy the rest of the year and try to regain his past stature. Woods next tournament will be at the Genesis Open at Riviera from Feb. 15 to 18 where he hopes to build on his comeback performance at Torrey Pines.

PGA Tour begins yet another grueling season

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The new golf season is already upon us. Only two weeks following the conclusion of the 2016-17 season-ending Tour Championship, won by 23-year-old Xander Schauffele, the PGA Tour kicked off its 2017-18 season this past week at the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

The “wraparound season,” as the Tour calls it, was established in 2013 in an attempt to revitalize the Tour’s failing Fall Series. The Fall Series was a group of events that awarded 95 of the 125 full PGA Tour cards for the following season (the other 30 were given to the participants of the Tour Championship). However, as the best golfers usually locked up their PGA cards by the conclusion of the regular season, they tended not to participate in the Fall Series events because they offered small purses, few FedEx Cup points, and little respite from the grind of competing every weekend.

In 2013, the Tour began to award full FedEx Cup points for the events in the fall, effectively eliminating the offseason. The Tour hoped this change would increase the strength of the fields, which in turn would hopefully increase attendance, sponsorship money, and the value of TV contracts. And while the change has given Tour rookies and journeymen the opportunity to gain experience and establish themselves early in the FedEx Cup standings, big-name players still tend to sit out until January. They don’t feel the pressure average players do to play or risk falling behind in the FedEx Cup points race.

Boo Weekley, a three-time winner on Tour, but someone who feels pressured to play in the fall in order to keep his job, discussed his sentiments about the wraparound season.

“It’s just golf after golf after golf. Ain’t no time for hunting and fishing, man.”

Regardless of how players feel about it, the new season is upon us. The schedule this year features 49 tournaments, up from 47 in 2016-17. New this year are THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES at Jeju Island and the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship, Korea’s and the Dominican Republic’s first ever Tour events, respectively.

With new events, new faces, and a young core of stars, the 2017-18 PGA Tour season is bound to be exciting. Here are five burning questions I have heading into the new season.

  1.     In 2016-17, young stars Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, and Schauffele won 13 events combined, while Schauffele also took home the Tour Championship, and Thomas captured the FedEx Cup. In total, 19 players in their 20s won 28 times last season. Will these young guns continue to dominate, or will 2017-18 be a year for the veterans?
  2.     Will former world number ones Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Adam Scott rediscover their winning ways after disappointing 2016-17 campaigns?
  3.     Will either McIlroy or Spieth complete the career grand slam, with McIlroy requiring only a Masters victory to accomplish the feat and Spieth needing to win the PGA Championship?
  4.     Will the exciting new class of PGA rookies, featuring former college stars Aaron Wise, Beau Hossler (for technical reasons Hossler is not officially considered a rookie), and Peter Uihlein make their mark on Tour like Schauffele and the rest of the 2016-17 class?
  5.     Is this the year Tiger Woods makes his comeback (he recently posted a video of himself taking full swings)? Will he ever win again on Tour? Or are his glory days behind him?

I also have a few early predictions for the 2017-18 season Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year:

Player of the Year: Rory McIlroy. After a down year full of injury and personal milestones (he married Erica Stoll in April), Rory will be able to focus all of his attention on golf this season and will reestablish himself as one of the world’s top players.

Rookie of the Year: Peter Uihlein. A former U.S. Amateur (the most prestigious amateur event in the world) and European Tour winner, expect the established 28-year-old to take the Tour by storm and win at least one event.

However these questions and predictions are resolved throughout the season, the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is bound to be exciting. The Tour is as deep and as strong as ever and no tournament will have an out and out favorite. Be prepared for competitive tournaments, battles between the world’s best, and plenty of first-time winners.

One tournament that will provide a lot of excitement is the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club outside of St. Louis. Bellerive has only hosted one tournament since 1992 (in 2008), so only a handful of players have seen the course before. Because the course is a relatively unknown quantity, expect experienced players and rookies alike to be competitive in the tournament that features the strongest field in golf.   

Athlete of the Week: Michael Brown ’21

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Golfer and first-year phenom Michael Brown ’21 has made a historic impact on the Garnet in his debut season so far. Hailing from Reading, Conn., Brown finished first overall Sept. 10 at the Swarthmore-Neumann Invitational in a field of 82 competitors, shooting a 68 overall, one stroke off the Swarthmore program record. He was named Centennial Conference Golfer of the Week for his performance in the tournament and has continued to impress in both the Harrisburg Invitational and the Montgomery Cup in the weeks following. The Garnet return to action on Sept. 30 at the McDaniel Mason-Dixon Invitational.

Ping Promrat: How has the adjustment to college been for you, both academically and athletically?

Michael Brown: In terms of academics, Swarthmore is definitely a step up for me, as there is a lot more time management involved in balancing aspects of college life. I think I’ve adjusted well athletically, and it is a lot of what I expected coming in. The tournament atmosphere is very similar to what I had in high school and the tournaments I played in over the summer.

PP: What is your intended major, and what interests you about it?

MB: I’m currently undecided. That being said, I’m much more of a natural sciences kind of person, so I’m thinking about a potential environmental studies major. I also really like my Introduction to Economics class, too, so I’ll see where my interests take me.

PP: What has been your favorite part about collegiate athletics so far?

MB: I’d say bonding with the guys on the team. We’ve travelled together for multiple tournaments so far on the weekends, and I’ve had a great time with them so far. Also, it’s been great to see where my game stacks up on the collegiate level, as the field of competitors is much stronger than in high school.

PP: What are your athletic goals for the fall season?

MB: Hopefully to win as many tournaments as possible as a team. Personally, I want to stick to my routine of practicing with the team along with working out on my own. We have a great hitting net right by Mertz Field, so I plan to keep working on my swing daily, and making sure that every piece of my game is at its best for the upcoming tournaments.

 

After 18 Years, Garcia Finally Captures Title

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For the last two decades, golf fans have watched Sergio Garcia at his highs, lows, and everything in between. After a stellar junior golf career, Garcia burst onto the scene at the 1999 PGA Championship, where he dueled and narrowly fell to another rising star: Tiger Woods. Garcia’s visible passion and excitement that week excited the sports world.

On Sunday of the ’99 PGA Championship, Garcia most notably ran after his shot on the 16th hole, leaping and scissor-kicking out of excitement. After nearly missing out on his first major, the Tiger-Sergio rivalry was built up by the media, as these two young players were expected to lead the future of the game. However, since then, Garcia’s career has been riddled with head-scratching shots, close calls, and frustrating finishes in major championships.  

In the next six years, Garcia recorded eleven top-ten finishes in major championships. This includes 2002, when he recorded top-ten finishes at all four of the major championships. As the years went by, the pressure on Sergio to succeed in a major continued to build up. People began to ask: when is Garcia going to win one?

In 2007, Garcia’s career took a turn for the worst. That year’s British Open Championship will forever be a defining moment in Garcia’s career. Garcia was leading by three shots after three days and was poised to go wire-to-wire to claim his first Claret Jug (the British Open trophy). However, his poor play on the final day resulted in a second-place finish, narrowly losing to Padraig Harrington in a playoff. At the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club, Sergio once again couldn’t hold onto the lead, hitting his ball into the water on the 16th hole, losing to Harrington yet again.

The Spaniard’s struggles on the back nine of tournaments only got worse. At the 2013 The Players Championship, Sergio was fighting off the likes of an emerging Tiger Woods at the top of the leaderboard in the final round. However, Sergio’s emotions got the best of him, complaining that fans were affecting his play. He ultimately hit two balls in the water on the infamous 16th hole and made a quadruple bogey. Woods again beat Garcia, proving he was on the right side of history is this fading rivalry.

Garcia’s frustrations came out in a press conference at the 2012 Masters. When asked about winning major championships, Garcia frankly conceded, “I’m not good enough … I don’t have the thing I need to have. In 13 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place.”

Despite all of this, Garcia has still putting together a phenomenal career. Overall, he had recorded nine PGA Tour victories, including the 2009 The Players Championship, and over twenty victories worldwide. His unique swing consistently produces an effortlessly pure ball strike. He has also thrown in a third-place finish at the 2005 US Open, two second-place finishes at the British Open in 2007 and 2014, two second place finishes at the PGA Championship in 1999 and 2008, and two top-ten finishes at The Masters. After so many near-victories, Sergio, now 37 years-old, started to take a backseat to a new generation of young stars, including Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Rory McIlroy.

However, this past Sunday, Garcia forever made his mark in golf history. Garcia played solid for the first three days of competition, working himself into contention once again. Entering Sunday, Garcia was tied for the lead with friend and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose. After bogeys on holes 10 and 11, it appeared that Garcia would once again succumb to the pressure. However, a late eagle on hole 15 revived Sergio. In a nail-biting finish, both Garcia and Rose missed birdie putts on 18 and went to a sudden-death playoff. Garcia striped a tee shot in the playoff, while Rose timidly lost his drive right. Garcia proceded to hit a solid second shot to within ten feet. Needing just two putts to win, Garcia confidently stroked his birdie effort into the cup, exuberating the crowd. With years of close-calls in his wake, Garcia fervently fist pumped and waved to the crowd, with tears of joy running down his face. Garcia finally broke through; he is officially a major champion.

After the round, Sergio reflected on his long, bittersweet journey. He remarked, “Obviously, this is something I wanted to do for a long time … but, you know, it never felt like a horror movie. It felt like a little bit of a drama, but obviously with a happy ending.”

This victory could very well be a springboard for the passionate Garcia in future major championships.

Men’s Golf Kicks Off Spring Season Along Georgia Coast

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This past week the Men’s Golf team spent their break enjoying the picturesque Georgia coast and competing in an important out of conference Tri-Match.  

The team flew down to Georgia on March 11th, and stayed for the duration of the week. They competed in the Coastal Georgia Tri-Match held in St. Simons Island against both The College of Coastal Georgia and Villanova University.

With the match at St. Simons Island as their top priority, the team played four other area courses to prepare. Aside from the Sea Island Golf Club Retreat course that the match would be played on, they also played notable courses including the Plantation Course at the Sea Island Resort, Frederica Golf Club, Ocean Forest Golf Club, and the Seaside Course at the Sea Island Resort.

The Tri-Match would bring some tough opposition. Villanova and Coastal Georgia both have players that have performed well in their respective conferences. Lucas Trim of Villanova, a NCAA Division I institution, finished last season in the Top 15 of the Head-to-Head Big East Conference Player Standings with an average round score of 74.79. Coastal Georgia, an NAIA powerhouse, was preseason ranked 7th in the NAIA and fielded Eamon Owen in the Top 40 of the Head-to-Head NAIA Player Standings last year.

Albeit the field was daunting, the Men’s Golf team rose to the challenge. The team was led by Michael Chen ’17, Adam Agustin ’20, and Dan Altieri ’19. Chen fought as the top scorer for the Garnet with a 79, good for 7 over par. Behind Chen were Agustin with an 80 and Altieri with an 81.

Despite an average showing at the Tri-Match, Chen believes the team has many areas where they can improve their game. The team finished 35 strokes behind the second place team (Villanova), but they had to overcome a rough start. Early in the week the team had to shake off the rust from a long off-period between the Fall and Spring seasons. As the week went on the team’s performance progressively got better and the players hit their stride. The break also allowed the team to strengthen an already strong sense of team chemistry. Chen and other members of the team are optimistic about the upcoming Spring season and are eager to showcase their accrued prowess in their first major tournament.

“We always look forward to playing at such a high level of competition. Going forward, we know what we need to do to improve and compete. Our first major tournament is in two weeks at The Bridges Golf Club in Gettysburg, PA. We look to continue to improve day-in/day-out and take home the conference title,” Nick DiMaio ’19 said.

With a large portion of the season ahead of them, the team has work to do. They’re keeping their eye on the prize and are putting in the time and effort needed for a championship run. The observed team camaraderie and resilience shows a deep commitment to performing better in the matches to come.

Thomas and Berger highlight new era

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Over the past five years, all eyes in the golf world have been on young stars such as Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Jason Day. Now, there is a new young star on the rise, and his name is Justin Thomas. Justin Thomas was a standout golfer at the University of Alabama, earning medals at both the SEC and NCAA Regional Championships. He also won the Haskins Award while still a freshman, which is given to the most outstanding collegiate golfer each season.  He continued to build on this success on the professional stage, graduating from the Web.Com Tour and immediately making his presence known on the PGA Tour. Thomas is a fan favorite, aweing spectators with long drives and creativity around the greens.  

       He has continued to build his resume, successfully defending his title at the CIMB Classic in late 2016. Since that win, he hasn’t looked back. The twenty-three year old just captured his fourth career win on the PGA Tour last week in Hawaii — already his third win of the season. Even more impressive, Thomas shot a 59 in the first round of last week’s Sony Open, making him the youngest player in PGA Tour history to break 60.  Thomas also broke the 72-hole scoring record on his way to a seven-shot victory over a strong field including Justin’s close friend and rival, Jordan Spieth.

       After sweeping the “Hawaiian swing.” Thomas is currently first in the season long FedEx Cup race and riding some major momentum. His next appearance will be at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February. With an entire season ahead of him, it’ll be interesting to see how Thomas’ already record-breaking year plays out.

       Another player garnering a lot of attention in today’s golf world is Daniel Berger. Like Thomas, Berger is also a product of the junior golf circuit who has had success on tours such as the American Junior Golf Association. Berger attributes much of his success to his father, who was the head coach of the Men’s United States Tennis Association. Berger learned tennis from his father and played in both tennis and golf competitions growing up. An early tennis background has allowed Berger to thrive as not just a golfer, but also as an athlete. Many young golfers have emphasized this point by following strict workout regimes and emulating other professional athletes. Because of his unique athletic upbringing, Berger has developed a unique backswing followed by a massive rotation of the hips to square up his club and deliver a pure strike. Berger’s swing has analysts and commentators scratching their heads, while he excites old time golf fans with his scrappy and efficient game.

       Berger had a successful collegiate career at Florida State University and turned pro by the age of twenty. Berger, like Thomas, quickly got through the Web.com Tour and rapidly rose through the ranks on his way to the PGA Tour. Berger’s eccentric swing and flawless short game has translated to major success on the world golf stage. He had a standout rookie season, qualifying for the Tour Championship, finishing eleventh in the FedEx Cup, and winning the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award for 2015. He followed up his rookie year with a strong sophomore campaign; Berger started the year by recording a tenth-place finish at The Masters, his first top ten finish at a major championship.  He then recorded his first professional victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, outlasting Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker.

       Contrary to the Tiger Woods era, young stars such as Spieth, Thomas, and Berger can be described best as “friendly rivals.”  This generation has grown up contending against each other and have emphasized maintaining camaraderie in their battle for the top spot in golf. While Woods often intimidated his competition with his long drives, stoic demeanor, and cold-blooded desire to win, these young players are truly redefining the professional athletic environment. With millions of dollars on the line each week and all the pressure in the world on them, the “young guns” still find time to jokingly gamble during practice rounds, hang out off the course, and most paradoxically, beat each other when they have to. The pedigree of the professional golf has never been higher and it is truly entertaining to watch these young stars carry the game on their backs their own way.     

A tribute to The King, Arnold Palmer

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   When most people hear the name Arnold Palmer, they think of more than just a golfer. Arnie, as he was called, led a revolution among athletes, transforming the world of sports into a true business place.  Palmer exclaimed, “Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.”  His life followed such sentiments. He was an entrepreneur, getting into the clothing, beverage, and even aviation industries.  Palmer left more than a legacy behind: he laid the foundation for the future of golf and all of professional sports worldwide.  

      Palmer is an icon in part because of his humble beginnings.  He was born and raised in the small town of Latrobe, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went on to play golf at Wake Forest University, but left after three years to pursue his dream of being a professional golfer. Palmer’s confidence and trust in his own potential was infectious and ultimately led to the growth of a cult-like fan base, more commonly known as Arnie’s Army.

      Palmer first learned the game of golf when his father handed him a golf club and watched how his son gripped it. He then proceeded to tell Palmer to never change his grip, and to never let anybody in the game take that away from him. Palmer’s golf swing is a further model of his father’s early sentiments.  This rigid motion personifies Palmer — not necessarily a textbook mold of success, but scrappy and efficient above all else. Swarthmore students can appreciate this trailblazer who constantly redefines the path of success in all endeavors.   

     While our generation never got to watch Arnold Palmer walk down the lush fairways of Augusta National, just moments away from capturing his first Green Jacket, or emotionally taking the interview stand at Oakmont after playing in his last U.S. Open Championship right in his hometown, these moments are ingrained in the minds of all aspiring golfers, regardless of age.  The emotion that Palmer displayed on and off of the golf course was simply unmatched.  He attracted so many new fans with his charisma and added a different dimension of style to the game.  Palmer was one of the first Americans to travel to Europe and Asia and compete professionally.  He was perhaps even more beloved in the U.K., where he won back-to-back British Opens in 1961 and 1962.  With a total of 76 professional wins and 7 major championship victories, there is no doubt that Palmer is one of the greatest golfers of all time.  

     Palmer’s contributions to golf after his retirement are perhaps even more noteworthy than his feats in competition.  Palmer opened up hundreds of courses around the world in an effort to expand the game of golf. Palmer also started the first golf-focused television channel, the Golf Channel, which has expanded golf coverage tremendously over the past 20 years. He sponsored a PGA event in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to combine a world class tournament with a fundraising platform for his children’s hospital and foundation. He has been spotted at golf’s most cherished event, The Masters, year after year, hitting the inaugural tee shot with his fellow competitors, legends and dear friends Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.  

      While Arnold Palmer is no longer with us, his legacy is stronger than ever.  The sport of golf wouldn’t be where it is today without Palmer’s trailblazing innovation and charismatic personality. Swatties can learn a thing or two from Palmer’s ability to persevere and succeed in all the fields he explored. Our caps are off to you, Arnie.  

Weekend Roundup

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Women’s Soccer

If you weren’t already convinced of the women’s soccer team’s current dominance, then here’s some news that should change your mind: in a ranking released by D3soccer.com, the women’s soccer team was ranked as the 11th best team in the nation. They were also ranked 20th in the official national coaches’ poll top 25.

The team strengthened this deserved reputation with yet another win on Saturday, this one a 2-1 triumph away against conference opponent Johns Hopkins. The Garnet showed composure in this game after falling behind early because of a goal in the 6th minute from Johns Hopkins. They did just that and eventually evened up the game in the last minute of the first half, as Sarah Hancock ’18 scored off a cross from Hannah Lichtenstein ’17. The Garnet carried this momentum into the second half, where they took the lead early on after Katherine Zavez ’17 scored in the 53rd minute, assisted by Marin McCoy ’19. The goal was the first of Zavez’s career, and came at a fine moment as it put the team ahead for the game. It also pointed to the team’s impressive depth, as Zavez was the 20th player to score a goal for the team this season.

With an unbeaten overall record (9-0) and conference record (3-0), the team hopes to continue to prove why they are one of the best in the nation. Their next chance to do that will be this Saturday at home against in-conference opponent Gettysburg, which will be their only game this week.

Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team played away at conference opponent Ursinus on Saturday and only came away with one point in the standings after ending the game in a 1-1 tie. Although the game went the full possible 110 minutes, both of the goals were scored within the first four minutes of the opening half.

The home team struck first, scoring a goal against the Garnet after only slightly more than a minute of the game had passed. The Garnet fought back immediately and put in a goal soon after, when Billy Evers ’17 scored on a free kick from 30 yards out by Ryan Meuth ’17. The goal was Evers’ first this season.

Both teams attacked plenty throughout the remainder of the game, with the Garnet taking 20 shots to the Bears’ 14. However, neither was able to break through the others’ defenses and goalkeepers for the decisive goal. Goalkeeper Tyler Zon ’16 contributed to the Garnet’s defense with 4 saves.

Last night, the Garnet played a non-conference match against Rowan at home, and lost 1-0 after Rowan scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute. Although the Garnet were able to put more shots on goal, five as opposed to Rowan’s three, they ultimately were unable to find the back of the net.

The Garnet’s record stands at 4-7-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Centennial Conference play. Up next for the team is a home match against conference opponents Gettysburg on Saturday.

 

Volleyball

With two more wins this week after defeating Johns Hopkins on Saturday and Washington College on Tuesday, the volleyball team extended their current win streak to 13 matches. The wins also maintained the Garnet’s undefeated conference record (4-0) and added to their impressive overall record (14-3).

The first win was special because it was the Garnet’s first road victory at Johns Hopkins in more than two decades. Although they dropped the first set 15-25, they rebounded and picked up the next three sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 en route to a 3-1 victory. Sarah Wallace ’18 led the Garnet in kills with 15, while Olivia Leventhal ’18 was close behind with 10 kills and a block. Malia Scott ’18 served up 5 aces as well.

The team carried this momentum into their home match against Washington on Tuesday, which they won 3-1 by a score of 25-13, 25-19, 13-25, 25-22. Sarah Girard ’19 had a match-high 26 digs. Sam Dubois ’16 had two block assists and 38 assists total, which brought her past the 2,500-assists mark for her career,

For the week ahead, the team has two more conference matches. The first is on Saturday at home against Gettysburg, followed by an away match at Ursinus on Wednesday. The Garnet hope to continue their undefeated streak and uphold their dominance in the Centennial Conference thus far.

 

Field Hockey

The field hockey team (1-8, 0-4 CC) continued to struggle against conference opponents this past weekend and fell to both Ursinus College and Johns Hopkins 8-0 and 3-1, respectively.

The Bears, ranked 8th in the nation, proved to be the team’s most challenging opponent thus far and forced the Garnet into a 5-0 deficit within the first 15 minutes. Swarthmore countered with four shots during the first period, three of which were on goal, but ended the period without touching the back of the net. The second period was marked by a barrage of shots from the Bears’ offense which resulted in Ursinus’ 19 shots taken compared to Swarthmore’s 0. Out of Ursinus’ 24 on-goal shots, goalkeeper Zelda Bank ’19 recorded a total of 10 saves to lessen the Bears’ offensive impact. However, the Garnet conceded two more points during the second half for a 8-0 loss.

The team attempted a comeback against Johns Hopkins after the Ursinus loss, but ultimately fell to the Blue Jays as well. The Garnet suffered a 3-0 deficit within the first 34 minutes of the game but rallied soon after to score their first goal of the game. Erin Gluck ’16 broke the Garnet’s dry spell off of a corner shot taken by Ursula Monaghan ’17 and finished the goal off near the left post. Both teams were unable to find the back of the net in the second period during which Bank recorded a total of six saves. Goalkeeper Ainsley Parish ’16 also recorded a total of 5 saves in the first period.

Today, the Garnet will travel to Chestertown, Maryland and go head to head with conference opponents Washington College in the hopes of earning their first conference win of the season.

 

Cross Country

Katie Jo McMenamin ’16 highlighted the women’s cross country team’s performance this past weekend as she earned first place in the Paul Short Brown 6K run. Running against a whopping 387 athletes from all three divisions, McMenamin finished the race in 21:23 and crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of the second place finisher. McMenamin’s finish helped launch the Garnet to 10th place out of the 45 teams that competed from all three divisions.

The men’s team competed in the Paul Short 8K run (which included 354  runners from all three divisions and 39 teams total). Paul Green ’15 led the way for the Garnet and finished in 105th place in 25:58. Corey Branch ’17 finished second for the Garnet in 26:12.

Both teams will compete in their final meet this Saturday in the Inter-Regional Border Battle before facing their conference opponents in the Centennial Conference Championships hosted by Johns Hopkins on October 31.

Golf

The men’s golf team tied for seventh place with Gettysburg College this past weekend in the Mason-Dixon Classic. Dan Altieri ’19 continued to lead the way for the Garnet and carded a par 72 on the first day and 76 on the second. This performance follows his two prior first-place wins, which were his first two collegiate tournaments as well. His outstanding performance thus far earned him the title of Centennial Conference’s Golfer of the Week last Tuesday.

On the second day of the tournament, Nick DiMaio ’19, Drew Langan ’17 and Michael Chen ’17 all followed close behind Altieri and shot 77, 78 and 79, respectively.

The men will travel to the Patriot’s Glen National Golf Club this weekend to compete in the Revolutionary Collegiate Classic hosted by Ursinus College.

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