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Friday, June 21, 2024
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AU golf teed off at PL

Season Preview

After a successful fall season highlighted by a win at the AU Classic, the AU Men's Golf team looks forward to a trip to Hawaii and a promising spring season.

The Eagles, coming off a fall season where they placed in the top five spots in three out of four events, have a spring schedule to look forward to that incorporates seven tournaments, including a trip to Hawaii and the fabled Princeville Resort for the Kauai Collegiate Cup. The Eagles finish their season with a trip to the Patriot League Championship and a chance to qualify for the NCAA tournament.

The men will seek to avenge last year's result at the championship, where they finished in fourth place, four strokes out of second behind Patriot League foe Lafayette.

The team is led by second-year head coach Josh Cupp, who feels that while the fall schedule made for a good tune-up for the squad, it is the spring that poses the biggest challenge.

"This is the most formidable spring schedule in the history of AU golf," Cupp said, "but I'm proud that my guys are incredibly fit and work really hard."

He added that tournaments further from D.C. give the players a chance to lower their stroke averages in better weather.

Freshman Todd Shagin, who shot a 146 (75-71) to finish in second place overall at the AU Classic, said that while there's plenty of room for improvement, the team has a lot of depth.

"The kids on our team hit the ball further than any college team out there," Shagin said. "We practice hard and we're all very talented."

He added that while Navy and Lehigh both post good challenges in the Patriot League, he expects the Eagles to win the PL Championship.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't lap the field," Shagin said.

The Eagles are also looking for seniors Seth Kaplan and Paul Servidido, as well as junior Chris Schieffer and sophomore Rob McDonald, to step up this spring. Schieffer shot a 149 (76-73) en route to a second-place overall finish and a third-place team finish at the Holiday Inn Colonial Classic in October.

The Eagles will be without senior David Stone, who sustained an injury to his hand and is not expected to play until the end of the season. Stone posted a 79.9 shot average last year and fired a 74 at the Colgate Golf Invitational during the fall.

With Stone sidelined, the team will look for Kaplan and Servidido to kick it up a notch. The seniors posted shot averages of 83.1 and 81, respectively, last year.

In order to maintain the level of performance from the fall, Cupp said the team needed to work on hitting better shots from 75 yards and in. "[Schieffer, Kaplan and junior] Phillip Kief all have tremendous physical skills," Cupp said, "but I look for them to drop their stroke averages by three or four shots."

The Eagles open their season March 8 at the Winthrop Waterford Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. From there, the men travel to the brightest spot on the spring schedule - Kauai, Hawaii.

"In Hawaii, playing golf will be more like a chore," said Shagin "but the field there is one of the best we face"

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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