Jeffs Look to Regain Elite Status
Contact: Mike O'Brien
Despite a lack of depth in 2012-13, Amherst proved they were still one of the better teams in New England. The Jeffs finished within the top-five in seven of the team’s eight tournaments and placed among the top-three on three occasions. The team ended the season on a strong note with a third place finish at the Williams Spring Invitational and looks to carry that momentum into the fall.
Amherst lost two of its top players from a season ago but returns a strong and dependable core including a trio of newcomers. The success of head coach Michelle Morgan’s squad will once again be determined by the support the younger players can provide as the Jeffs look to regain their elite status in the region.
Amherst will look for leadership from its two senior class members during the 2013-14 season. Sooji Choi ’14 was one of the most consistent performers for the Jeffs a year ago and looks to build on a strong junior campaign. She excelled at the Wellesley Invitational with a 10th place finish and season-low score of 82-79-161 to help earn Amherst at tie for third place. Choi put a strong performance together in the Williams Fall Classic and dropped eight strokes off her score on day two for a 172. She also carded a 174 and 175 during the season to finish second and third on the team respectively.
Complementing Sooji will be Kristen Lee ’14, who figures to make a strong impact for the Jeffs this season. As a junior, Lee finished in a tie for ninth overall and first on the team at the Williams Spring Invitational with an 83-87-170 to help Amherst claim third in the seven-team field. Her second lowest score of the season came at the Jack Leaman Women’s Championship as she shot a 172 and finished second for the Jeffs.
CJ Bernstein ’15 and Katherine Britt ’15 will represent the junior class. Bernstein joined the team as a sophomore and looks to have a bigger role in her second season as a Jeff. Britt has continued to improve over the course of her career. As a sophomore, she finished within the top-25 on two occasions. Her strongest outing of the year produced a 93-87-180 to place 20th overall at the Wellesley Invitational as Amherst took third in the tournament.
The sophomore class returns a strong core headlined by Devyn Gardner ’16. Gardner proved to be one of the team’s most consistent performers as a first-year and has high expectations for the 2013-14 campaign. The sophomore never shot higher than a 178 last year and finished in the top-five on the team in all eight invitationals. She shot a 166 twice; once at the Williams Fall Invitational in which she scratched an incredible 18 strokes off her day one score to finish in a tie for 11th place, and then again in the spring at the Vassar Invitational. Only a sophomore, Gardner will be relied upon heavily this upcoming season following her first year success.
Amherst has a slew of talented sophomores. Sarah Ressler ’16 and Jenny Xu ’16 were excellent contributors a year ago. Ressler finished in a tie for 30th at the Vassar Invitational with a 177 to score the fourth lowest mark on the team. Xu’s top performance in her first year was a 176 at the Jack Leaman’s Invitational, earning her a tie for 34th. Also joining the Jeffs will be first-years’ Jamie Grace ’17, Angelina Guan’ 17 and Patricia Huang ’17.
Elaine Lin ’12 returns to the team as an assistant coach for her second year. Lin was one of the team’s most accomplished players from 2008-12.
As one of the pioneers of intercollegiate women’s golf in New England, Amherst begins its 36th year with a varsity program. The 2013-14 season is set to begin Saturday, Sept. 14, when the Jeffs open competition at the two-day NYU Invitational.