Juniors provide leadership, freshman class delivers as ETSU women's golf captures win in season opener
Junior Natalia Giraldo finished tied for 7th.
Junior Natalia Giraldo finished tied for 7th.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

            DRAPER VALLEY, Va. (Sept. 12, 2006) - Thanks to leadership from a talented junior class and the fearless play of a determined group of freshmen, the ETSU women's golf team got its 2006-07 season off on the right track, taking a one-shot victory over former Southern Conference foe Elon Tuesday in the Draper Valley Invitational at the Draper Valley Golf Course.

 

            To garner the win, the Buccaneers fired a program record for three-round score, posting an 889 (291-294-304) which left the team anxiously standing around the clubhouse leaderboard as officials tallied the final results. In the end, the Bucs' consistent play - led by freshman Sarah Jane Sinard (White Pine, Tenn.) with a fourth-place showing and ties for seventh place by fellow freshman Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia) and junior Natalia Giraldo (Cali, Colombia) - and their unwillingness to break under pressure were enough to pick up the win over the 18-team field.

 

            "You can already see the mentality of this team is special," said ETSU head coach Stefanie Reynolds, who has now led the Bucs to four tournament victories in her five-year tenure. "All of these girls come from winning backgrounds and it doesn't matter who they are playing - they expect to win. We counted on all three of our freshmen today and they played like veterans throughout the entire tournament.

 

"So far, this group looks like the most well-rounded team we've ever had."

 

While Sinard, Jansone and Giraldo led the way, junior Maria Ringdahl (Oland, Sweden) finished tied for 32nd and freshman Kennie Leigh Eisenhower (Newport, Tenn.) posted one of the team's best third round scores with a 76. Sinard finished just five strokes out of first place.

While the Bucs are only one tournament into their season, Reynolds said she sees good things on the horizon.

 

"This girls seem very hungry and their playing to back it up right now," Reynolds said. "Having depth and a group of freshmen that aren't scared makes a big difference. They didn't show fear at any time during the tournament. As a coach, that's what you like to see."

 

The Bucs will return to play Sept. 18 at the Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup in Simpsonville, Ky. To follow the Lady Bucs all season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women's golf link.

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