BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s golf team opens its fall season this weekend at the two-day Bucknell Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa. Sixth-year head coach Henry D’Alberto is looking forward to working with what may be the strongest team he’s had in his time coaching his Alma Mater. With a roster of seven players, he feels any player is capable of posting low numbers or winning a tournament at any time.
“We’re going to have a good fall and a good spring, but this is the best team I’ve had since I’ve been here,” D’Alberto said. “We have two really strong seniors, two pretty good incoming freshmen and two sophomores and a junior who have improved over the past year. I’m excited to get started.
D’Alberto continued, “This is the first team that I’ve had where legitimately every player in competition, when the pressure’s on, can shoot par or better. That’s what makes it exciting. Our seniors have experience. When they’re near the lead they’re not going to go the wrong way.”
Leading the way for the Mountain Hawks on the course is senior Doug Marcincin, who is a two-time All-Patriot League performer after tying for eighth overall at last year’s Patriot League Championships. Marcincin enjoyed a busy but successful summer as he teamed with sophomore Andrew Arnold to win the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Better Ball championship.
“Doug is a good leader, who leads by his play,” D’Alberto said. “If he keeps himself on track he has a legitimate chance to be a Patriot League Champion and in my experience, most of the time the team of the individual winner wins the team championship. We will look ride his coattails this season.”
Veteran Tim Rosenhouse will team with Marcincin to provide senior leadership. The remaining returning players include junior Sean Keller, Arnold and sophomore Alex DiClemente, all of who had their moments last year.
D’Alberto offered his thoughts on his sophomores, “They’re both good players. Alex has the experience. He’s getting there but its taking some time. Andrew was paired with Doug at the Better Ball Championships. He’s on his way. He’s working on his game. By the spring they’re going to be much more seasoned and their definitely going to help us out.”
D’Alberto is also very high on Lehigh’s two freshmen: Allentown native Zach Allinson and Carlos Kim-Arredondo, a top junior player from California, who studied at the Ledbetter Golf Academy in Florida.
“I love having seven guys,” D’Alberto said. “It’s helping us. Every week any one of the seven has a chance to qualify and that’s the best part about it. They’re all good guys and it’s a small team so it keeps everyone together which I like.”
The fall schedule kicks off this weekend on the Bucknell Golf Course, which took on plenty of water last weekend when Lehigh’s women played in the Bison Fall Invitational. The Mountain Hawks will also play in tournaments hosted by Hartford and Seton Hall, before returning home to host the Lehigh Invitational, October 22 and 23 at Saucon Valley Country Club.
“We’re opening at Bucknell, who is obviously in our league,” D’Alberto explained. “We added a new stop at Hartford with a pretty strong field so we’re excited about that. Then we head to Seton Hall which is fairly local. It’s a good golf course and a strong field. We’re fortunate to once again be able to host the Lehigh Invitational at Saucon Valley on the Grace Course, our true home course. We’re excited about that.”
In terms of goals and expectations for this weekend at Bucknell, D’Alberto offered, “My goal each week is to have a chance. We’re not going to win them all but we want to be in contention. I think a top three is realistic and if we’re in the top three going into Saturday we’ll have a chance to win.”
This weekend’s 54 hole tournament will begin with 36 holes starting Friday morning on the par-70, 6,400 yard Bucknell Golf Course. The final 18 holes will be played on Saturday. Lehigh will be joined in the field by two teams from the host Bucknell Bison plus Army, Canisius, Colgate, Fordham, Hampton, Lafayette, Laval, Longwood, Messiah, Navy and Ottawa.