Both Taylor golf teams have continued to succeed after last year’s strong ending.
The men’s golf team is currently ranked no. 18, the highest in the Crossroads League, ahead of Marian who is in no. 22, the only other ranked Crossroads League team.
The team has won three tournaments this season, all in the fall. Arguably, no tournament was more impressive than the team placing third in the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, where they beat NCAA Division 1 in-state teams such as Purdue Fort Wayne, Ball State, Butler and IUPUI.
They have competed in two spring tournaments so far, placing fourth out of nine teams in the Showdown at Legends tournament. The team lost to no. 3 Coastal Georgia, no. 23 Lindsey Wilson and William Carey. They did beat conference foe Huntington who finished eighth.
Junior Noah Ross led the Trojans, earning second place of all golfers there with a total score of 216. His score of 66 in the final round was the best round of anyone in the tournament. Junior Drew Pickering had a total score of 233 and sophomore Adam Kasitz had a total score of 234 to earn a top 20.
Over spring break, the men’s team traveled to New Orleans to compete in the Wolfpack Invitational. They would earn a second-place finish falling just two strokes short of the win. Loyola-New Orleans took the win on their home course. Senior Javan Johnson led the way for the Trojans with a score of 225, six strokes off the overall win, earning a third place. Kasitz put in another good performance with a score of 230, earning him a ninth-place finish.
Conditions at the course nearly made golf unplayable with 30 to 40 mile per hour winds with gusts. The night of the last round, after all the players were finished, a tornado touched ground just a mile from the course.
The women’s golf team is currently ranked no. 19, just behind conference and cross-county rival Indiana Wesleyan, who comes in at no. 15. Bethel, another conference foe, is ranked no. 25.
Four tournament wins highlighted a successful fall season for the women’s team.
Kicking off the spring season, the team finished seventh of 11 teams in the Showdown at Legends in Myrtle Beach, losing out to several ranked teams such as no. 10 William Carey, no. 13 Cumberland, no. 16 Lindsey Wilson, no. 18 Campbellsville, no. 21 Truett-McConnell and no. 24 Cumberlands. The team did beat conference foe Huntington who finished in tenth. The team was without two of its highest performing golfers this tournament, senior Nicole Jung and freshman Ellie Beavins. Freshman Sabrina Langerak and sophomore Elizabeth Kemper led the team with scores of 237 and 239 respectively. Both scored top 15 finishes.
Over spring break, the team also traveled to New Orleans to compete in the Wolfpack Invitational. The return of Jung saw the team beat William Carey and Campbellsville as well as no. 22 Northwestern Ohio. The team finished third of seven behind no. 7 Loyola and no. 4 Dalton State with Loyola winning on their home course. Jung led the team with a score of 230 and finished second overall. Langarek put in another consistent performance to finish with a score of 240 and place seventh.
“We definitely made a step in the right direction between Myrtle Beach and New Orleans,” Head Coach Cameron Andry said.
Jung’s performance landed her the Crossroads League Golfer of the Week award.
Looking ahead, both teams will focus on winning the conference. The team to beat on the men’s side will be Marian. They have faced Marian once at the Chariot Run Challenge, where they beat Marian by 13 strokes as well as winning the tournament. Chariot Run is also where the conference championship on the men’s side will be held.
“I think we have a significant advantage at that course,” Johnson said. “We have guys like Erik (Fahlen) who can absolutely rip the ball and that is what the course is made for.”
On the women’s side, Indiana Wesleyan will be the team to beat. The women’s team has faced them one time in the Players Club Invitational, losing out to them. The team has not lost to any other Crossroads League opponent.