Women’s golf team set to take on MAC

John Lopez and John Lopez

The weather is hot and so is the Falcon women’s golf team. That’s good news for them because the Falcons begin play today for the season ending Mid-American Conference Championships. After a run of poor weather, sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures are expected at Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio, where the event will be held for the second time in three years. The 72-hole event hosted by Kent State includes Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan and the Falcons. The course, celebrating its 10th year, has been voted Ohio’s best golf course by both Golf Magazine and Golfweek. The Falcons, coming off a successful event last week will look to improve on a disappointing eighth-place finish at last year’s MAC Championship. Coach Stephanie Young is well aware of the nature of the course, saying it favors several types of players. ‘The course is very challenging,’ Young said. ‘It favors a long ball hitter and also favors someone who has a good short game.’ It will be a difficult task though as the Falcons lost three of the five competitors in last year’s championship to graduation. Leading the field for the Falcons are Megan Gormley, Megan Bader and Marisa Glew, who are all on pace to post personal season low scoring averages all averaging less than an 85 this season. Lowering the scoring averages is one of the many things Young said the team has been improving upon all season. ‘[We need to] focus on trying to get our averages lower, which is focusing on mechanics, short game and course management,’ Young said. ‘Those are the things we’ve tried to continue improving upon all year.’ After a few difficult tournaments at the start to the season, the Falcons seem to have found their stride at just the right time shooting a 322 in the rain shortened Falcon Classic held last week at Stoney Ridge in Bowling Green. The event will be the last of the season for the Falcons before taking the summer off in preparation for the fall season which will see everyone returning. After finishing third at last year’s MAC Championships, the Falcons’ I-75 rivals, the University of Toledo, may be the favorites, winning their last two tournaments. But after winning last year’s MAC title, tournament hosts Kent State, which boasts MAC Player of the Year Martina Gavier, have not placed worse than third at any tournament since early March and are set up well to make a run for back-to-back championships. And while those teams may be battling for the top spot, Young has a set goal in mind for her team. ‘We’re looking forward to placing higher than we have in the past.’ The Falcons will be in Nashport through Sunday when the final round will be held and a MAC champion will be crowned.