The women’s golf team and coach Natalie Desjardins enter the spring with high expectations. The team is seasoned and experienced, due in large part to the production of its four seniors, Lizzie Win, Maddie Sager, Sammie Staudt and Carolina Ronchel-Salas. Desjardins came to Seton Hall in 2017 from LIU Brooklyn, arriving in South Orange a year after three of her seniors did. Desjardins’ defection from LIU spurred Ronchel- Salas to join the Pirates.
“Its been a fun last three years with these girls, they’ve definitely jumped on board with new philosophies, new ways of thinking,” Desjardins said. One of these philosophies is the idea of Big, Hairy Goals. Desjardins said that it’s important that you’re able to achieve little goals throughout the semester but we always have a couple of big, hairy goals to keep us motivated, to keep that level of play going forward.”
Desjardins described this year’s big goals as winning the Big East tournament title and finishing in the top-eight at regionals and eventually becoming a top 50 women’s golf program nationally.
Fortunately, achieving these big goals is not as daunting as it would seem. The team was ranked as high as 54th nationally in the fall and finished the fall season in November at No. 61 in Golf Week’s rankings. With a senior class as talented and close-knit as this one, a Big East title could be- come a reality in April.
Win will look to rebound after a fall season which saw her take a backseat to Sager and Staudt after two consecutive All-Big East seasons. She described how she intends to pursue an LPGA career after graduation, planning to use a successful final semester and a summer of training and practice as the conduit to a low score at Qualifying School and an LPGA tour card.
Staudt returns after two top-10 and two top-five finishes at tour- naments in the fall half of their season.
“I think for me, my personal goal is just contributing to the team as much as possible,” Staudt said. “We have our goals set for the spring and it would be awesome if we could break half of them in the middle of the spring and then have to reset them coming into the conference championship.”
Sager and Ronchel-Salas are two more key pieces for the Pirates. Sager had the lowest average scoring on the team in the fall (73.91) and Ronchel-Salas was All-Big East in 2018-2019. Mia Kness, the lone junior on the senior lad- en squad, had the low round of the fall season with a 65, and was mentioned by Sager as the executor of the seniors’ legacy next year. Sophomore Sarah Fouratt, who recorded two top-five finishes in the fall, rounds out the squad.
The spring season for the wom- en’s golf team begins on Feb. 10 with the FAU Winter Warm Up in Boca Raton, Florida, and will hopefully culminate in April with the achievement of all goals.
Matthew Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.