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July 24, 2011

2011-12 Season - 2011-12 Women's Golf Prospectus

Veteran head coach Ron Standley leads the Vikings into the 2011-12 season, his 13th at Augustana.

Experience will be the driving factor for the 2011-12 version of the Augustana women's golf team. A roster made up of one senior, three juniors, and ten sophomores will welcome two freshmen into the mix for the upcoming season. Of the 14 returning players, nine are letter winners and the others have shown the ability to compete. The return of such a large amount of experience has the Vikings feeling optimistic about the upcoming season.

"I expect us to be an improved team this year," said head coach Ron Standley, who will be starting his 13th year as the head coach of the women's golf team. "Our returning letter winners are going to be very competitive and everyone got experience last year because of how our schedule was set up. I think we will be a better team than last year."

The roster size is large again for the women's golf team as it was last year and Standley expects there will be good competition amongst the players for the open spots on the roster.

"We are going to be competitive within our own team and I expect that players will step up their game because of the competition," sand Standley.

The 2010-11 team finished the year with a 46-37 record while competing in 13 tournaments. This year's schedule will be set up to give everyone a chance to play some rounds and gain experience, but Standley expects his upperclassmen to lead the way.

"I am looking for our upperclassmen to display great leadership this year," said Standley. With a roster predominately made up of underclassmen, this could be a key factor in the Vikings success this year.

One of the players Standley expects to be a leader this year is senior captain Brittany Carr (Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort, Ill.). Carr, the lone senior on the team, was the team's MVP as a sophomore and has been a key component to the Viking women's golf team her entire career. "Brittany has been a leader her whole career," said Standley. "We are looking for her to do more of the same this year."  Last year Carr averaged 91.7 strokes per round with 18 rounds played and had a low round of 84. Her best finish was sixth at the Augie Invite.

Standley is also expecting juniors Megan Vandersee (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) and Morgan Wilkinson (Westmont HS, Westmont, Ill.) to take on more of a leadership role this year. He also expects them to show improvement. Vandersee, a National Golf Coaches Association all-academic team selection, was named the Vikings' Most Valuable Player as she averaged 89.4 strokes per round and had a low round of 79 at the St. Ambrose Fighting Bee Classic, where she tied for first place. Wilkinson was named the team's Most Inspirational golfer last season. She averaged 93.9 strokes per round average and recorded a low round of 84. She was also the highest place finisher at the conference meet last year where he finished 20th.

Last year's performance at the conference meet was not what the Vikings had hoped for, as they finished in 7th, but there is reason for optimism heading into this year. The Vikings return five of the six golfers that competed in the conference meet. Returning from that Vikings team are Carr, Vandersee, Wilkinson, and sophomores Kelly Farina (Normal West, Bloomington, Ill.), and Jamie Lawrence (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.). Farina and Lawrence were co-Most Valuable Freshman last year. Lawrence joined Vandersee on the NGCA all-academic team and was also co-Most Inspirational with Wilkinson.

Standley expects the rest of the sophomore class to be competitive and step up their game from last year. In particular, he expects good things from Dena Capitani (Hinsdale Township, Hinsdale, Ill.), Kelly Olson (Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake, Ill.), and Katelyn Lazar (Williamsville HS, Sherman, Ill.). Capitani just missed making the conference team last year as a freshman when she averaged 98.4 strokes per round with a low round of 89. Olson has showed great ability as a freshman and Standley hopes she steps up this year. Lazar was named Most Improved Player as a freshman and is expected to continue to improve this year.

When asked what he is most looking forward to about this season, Standley said that his team gets to host conference. "Last year we struggled with travelling so the fact that we get to host conference and the girls can sleep in their own beds is great for us," according to Standley. "I think this will be an advantage for us and I am anticipating us playing better than we did last year."

Experience and depth have optimism high for the Augustana women's golf team. Expect to see an improved Vikings' team to take to the links for the 2011-12 season.