By Brian Yauger
Golf season is in full swing for the Youngstown State University women’s golf team with the opening invitational just days away. The Penguins are looking to rebound from an injury-riddled season last year that sunk the team during conference play.
“We definitely struggled with some injuries throughout the season,” Penguins Head Coach Nate Miklos said. “I thought the team for the most part did a pretty good job all spring, working hard and coming together. Unfortunately, we just didn’t play very well at conference. We’re really excited about this year. A good group of returners, an awesome group of freshmen. The last couple years we just haven’t had the depth. I think we have the depth this year, and I think we have a group that’s ready to compete at a really high level.”
The Penguins have a new look this season with five freshmen added to the roster. With over half of the roster being freshmen, challenges are bound to happen. Miklos isn’t worried about the youth due to a solid leadership core.
“Having a young team is exciting,” Miklos said. “It’s going to be a learning experience for everyone. It’s going to take a little bit of patience. But I think we have a good group of returners that will set a great example for them as to how we do things here, and I think we’re going to see some big things from them. The leadership of our returners especially senior Megan Creager and junior Katlyn Shutt will be one of the keys to helping bring the team together.”
One of the more experienced golfers, junior Katlyn Shutt is still adjusting to being one of the older golfers on the team and embracing a leadership role but is ready to take on that role.
“It is a very different feeling being a part of such a young team,” Shutt said. “The competitive level is different, your patience and compassion are forced to change for the better, because we seem to forget that we were once in their position. Walking into a new team not knowing how things worked, the rules, and how this team ran. I am excited for our future for my last remaining years.”
Penguins captain Megan Creager is excited by the opportunity to lead a young team, despite being an intimidating challenge.
“I’ve never been more ready to lead this team,” Creager said. “I have gained so much knowledge and experience from being a player and watching the other leaders before me. It’s a little intimidating being the captain of such a large and fresh team but I’m up for the challenge. Not that I have an office or anything, but my metaphorical door is always open. My team should be able to come to me with anything and I will gladly help in any way I can. I just want to make a positive impact and help them succeed at YSU. I know it’s going to be the best year yet.”
The Penguins golf team opens up their season at the fifth annual Roseann Schwartz Invitational at the North Course at Mill Creek Golf Course in Boardman on Sept. 3 and 4. A few schools the team will be facing include University of Purdue-Fort Wayne, Marshall University, Niagara University and Cleveland State University.
“My hopes for this season is to be the best possible team we could be, and that starts now,” Shutt said. “It starts by taking care of the small things such as, giving 100 percent at each workout and practice, making sure we are caught up with our school work, and putting the team first.”