Musketeers Improve, But Come Up Short
May 5, 2009
By Adam Kiefaber
CINCINNATI - Head coach Doug Steiner and his men's golf team went to the Atlantic 10 Championships to win it. Unfortunately, his team, loaded with young talent, just came up short.
Xavier finished the event with a 30-over par 882, 11 shots behind champion Charlotte, in second place.
Freshman Sebastian MacLean again led Xavier and finished in a tie for fourth place. It was his fifth consecutive top-ten finish this spring.
After the loss, Xavier's ranking was at No. 94 in the country, meaning the Musketeers would not participate in the NCAA Tournament (top 70 get to participate). However, MacLean could still compete individually if he qualifies, which will be announced soon.
Whatever happens, MacLean and the majority of Xavier's top golfers will be back next season.
Of the five golfers that participated in the conference tournament, only Mike Beausejour will be gone next year due to graduation.
Gynn and Beausejour were also recently honored and were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team.
O'Neill finished in a tie for 9th place in the tournament, while Lovelock should win Xavier's Most Improved Player of the Year award for the second straight time.
"I think we are a very good young team and we probably have our best recruiting class ever coming in as well," Steiner said. "Next year's team will have a lot of depth and we will have some experience from those four guys. I think it is going to be a great season next year."
The incoming freshman class is extremely impressive. It includes Aaron Siekmann of Dublin Jerome High School in Columbus and local product Aiden Javed of Lakota East. According to Steiner, the two recruits are Ohio's number one and two high school golfers and both are ranked in the nation's top 100 recruits. Xavier also brings in another top-100 recruit in Sean Luke of Texas.
"I think it is great for our school that kids like that are looking at our school," Steiner said. "It just shows a lot for our golf program. We have been very good for a extended period of time that we are in the mind of young kids."
For the returning players, they all know that they will have to compete to keep their spots in the lineup.
"All the guys that are currently in the lineup know that they need to improve this summer and that next year's team is going to have an extreme amount of depth," Steiner said.
"I think a lot of people are going to play. It is going to be one of those things that if you are playing well, you'll play and if you are in a slump, you probably won't and that is kind of good problem to have with the game of golf because it is hard to be at your top for an entire season."
Overall, Steiner is pleased with his latest group of golfers and is excited for what is to come in the future.
"I think what stands out to me about this team, overall has been their team chemistry," Steiner said. "They have been a very close-knit group, and they have been maybe my hardest working group. We have risen to 94th in the country, it isn't where we want to be, but it is a major step back to where we have been and I am just very proud that we never let up at all in the tournament."