Published: April 28, 2016
The University’s men’s golf team completed an impressive season Tuesday against Keystone College.
The season, which is split between the fall and spring, started out strong with four straight wins and a tie for second place at the Utica Invitational.
The Royals continued to play well, finishing the season with an 11-3 record that included a first place finish in the second round of the Anthracite Golf Championships in Clarks Summit in the fall, and a second place finish in the Spring Empire 8 Championships.
Standout senior golfer and co-captain Eric Montella reflected on the impressive season that the Royals completed.
“Individually, this spring I played well and ended up winning the spring portion of our conference championship and finished seventh overall which was a great way to finish my career. However, since our season is split between the fall and the spring, our biggest highlight came in the fall when we won the Anthracite Golf Championship,” Montella said.
Going into the season, the Royals had high expectations, and they were not disappointed.
Montella described the course the season took and the challenges the team overcame.
“We really wanted to win the Glenmaura National Collegiate Invitational but it was cancelled due to bad weather, so we knew that conferences was our only big event. And we did very well as a team at conferences, we finished second in the spring and played really well as a group,” Montella said.
Junior golfer Conor Carroll thinks back on where he and the team were at the beginning of the year compared to now.
“A lot of hard work and dedication to the game went in during the offseason,” Carroll said. “I really worked on shortening my swing. This leaves less room for error and allows my swing to stay more consistent.”
The Royals did a great job of staying consistent this season, and showed it throughout the entirety of their time spent golfing. Whether it was an individual match or a championship match with multiple schools, the Royals proved they were a force to be reckoned with.
The Royals can all agree that as much as golf is a physical game, it is a mental game too, and losing your mental focus can throw off your entire game. Montella feels that the men did a great job of keeping that intact, however.
“I think we all have gotten better with our mental games and it showed with our recent play at the Empire 8 Conference championships. I really think that can be contributed to our coach who never gets discouraged if we have a bad day and always remains confident in us regardless of how we play. He’s always positive on the course and is always encouraging us to play our best, which is something that I valued greatly throughout my four years playing for him,” Montella said.
The coach, Ed Karpovich, is a University alumni from 1976. He is in his 34th year as coach for The University and is regarded highly by all.
“Playing for Coach Karpovich was an honor and an unbelievable experience that has really made my college career very special. I think everyone on the team would agree that he is the best coach we’ve ever gotten the chance to play for and I truly value the relationship we built over the last four years, as do all of the former players he has coached,” Montella said.
Carroll agreed, crediting the team’s success to Karpovich.
“It’s a phenomenal team lead by an even better coach,” Carroll said.
Overall, the team had an impressive season and the members will not be forgetting it any time soon.
“My final season was memorable, but really playing on the team for four years was all very memorable. The friendships and memories I’ve made with my teammates both past and present will be what I remember most,” Montella said.
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