Mountain Hawks return to Annapolis for Patriot League Championships
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s golf team returns to Annapolis, Maryland this weekend for the 2011 Patriot League Championships hosted by Navy. The 54-hole event will be held on the Naval Academy Golf Course with 36 holes scheduled for Saturday and 18 holes scheduled for Sunday. The Mountain Hawks finished second at last year’s championships and will be looking to win their first title since 1997.
The Mountain Hawks have already played the Naval Academy Golf Course this year, finishing 11th out of 20 teams at the Navy Spring Invitational two weeks ago. Lehigh held things together through nasty weather conditions on Saturday but could not make a move Sunday in some better scoring conditions.
Lehigh also finished fifth in its first two spring events, the Mission Inn Invitational and the Lafayette Invitational. Last time out the Mountain Hawks finished second to rival Lafayette in the four-team Lehigh Valley Collegiate.
“Throughout the spring we’ve gotten off to some strong starts,” explained Lehigh head coach Henry D’Alberto. “The problem is we’ve fallen off a bit in the final rounds. Two weeks ago we played at the Navy Invitational with five other league schools and finished fourth out of those five. Good news is I think this is the first team that has talent all the way throughout the lineup. We just need it to all come together at the right time on the right day.”
At the Patriot League Championships, teams enter six players with the lowest four scores per round counting towards the team total.
Last year Lehigh placed three players in the top ten with Steve Suarez ’10 finishing second overall. Lehigh’s co-captains, junior Doug Marcincin and senior Dwight D’Iorio both earned second team All-Patriot League honors as Marcincin tied for sixth place and D’Iorio finished in a tie for tenth. Senior Duncan Zeiders also earned second team All-Patriot League honors as a sophomore in 2009. Also competing for spots in the Lehigh lineup are junior Tim Rosenhouse and sophomore Sean Keller, both of whom competed at last year’s championship. Freshmen Alex DiClemente and Andrew Arnold have also had strong moments this year and will be in the mix.
“We have two experienced seniors who have made All-Patriot League teams,” D’Alberto said. “Our junior captain Doug Marcincin made a team as well. A couple other guys are really coming into their own. We have the talent. If we play well we can win, it’s just a matter of putting it together over the next couple of days.”
Despite its runner-up finish last year, Lehigh was picked to finish fifth in the Patriot League preseason poll. Navy was picked first, with the benefit of playing on its home course. Lafayette is the defending team champion and returns the individual champion Rob Robertson as well. The team champion receives the Patriot League's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals on May 19-21.
Lehigh’s golfers will be paired with those from Lafayette and Army for Saturday’s first two rounds. The first groups will tee off at 8 a.m. Sunday’s final round also begins at 8 a.m.