LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Men’s Golf has been projected to finish second while the women were selected fifth according to their respective MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Polls. The men’s team also received one first-place vote.
Defending MAAC Tournament Champion Saint Peter’s – which edged the Saints by three strokes to capture last year’s title – are the preseason favorites on the men’s side after receiving 72 points and four first-place votes. Second place Siena secured 59 points to edge Rider which also received one first-place vote and accumulated 58 points. The tight polling had Manhattan fourth with 55 points and a pair of first-place votes, followed by Monmouth (49), Iona (48 – one first-place vote), Fairfield (32), Canisius (20), and Niagara (12) to round out the nine-team league.
The Siena men are looking to build off their runner-up finish last spring, after having captured the program’s fourth and most recent MAAC Championship in 2016. The Saints capped a solid fall with a tied for fourth place finish at the Lehigh Invitational, and previously shot three consecutive sub-300 rounds at the Connecticut Cup in early October including a season-best Final Round score of 288. Reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year Jake Holt paced the Saints individually during the fall with an average score of 75.10, highlighted by a season-low round of 70 on the final day of Binghamton’s Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational.
Two-time defending champion Quinnipiac is the favorite to repeat on the women’s side, after receiving 75 points and four first place-votes. UAlbany is second with 66 points (three first-place votes), and was followed closely by Dayton (57 points – one first-place vote) and Monmouth (56) to round out the top-four. Siena is fifth in the nine-team conference with 47 points, and was followed by Hartford (43 – one first-place vote), La Salle (23), Niagara (22), and Fairfield (16).
The Siena women’s fall season was punctuated by a record-setting performance at the Dartmouth Invitational in September in which the Saints finished fifth. Junior Sara Riso set a new program record with her Final Round score of 69 to win the individual championship, while also fueling Siena’s program record 36-hole team score of 611.
The men tee off their spring season on Feb. 25 at the Loyola (MD) Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Arizona, while the women begin play at LIU Brooklyn’s Lonnie Barton Invitational on Mar. 4 at the LPGA International in Dayton Beach, Florida. The 2018 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will once again be held at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course Apr. 20-22 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.