March 21, 2007
Without a doubt, 2006-07 was a banner year for the Siena College men's golf team.
After capturing their second MAAC Championship in program history in April, the Saints earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament Cleveland Regional in Charron, Ohio for the first time in school history.
"We went to the conference championships expecting to win," head coach Tom Wronowski, now in his tenth season, said. "We had a chip on our shoulders and we proved it over a span of three days."
The Saints certainly did that, led by Bryan Bigley, who fired a three-day, team-low score of 219 (75-73-71) to place second overall.
Bigley also led the Saints at the NCAA's as he finished the three-day tournament tied for 56th overall with a 224.
Entering this spring, the Saints are ready to embark on a new chapter in their program, as they will set out to claim their third MAAC Championship, while earning their second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
"Overall, I think we're ready for the spring schedule to start," Wronowski said. "But we know that we are going to have to perform to the best of our ability because other teams in the conference are going to be gunning for us."
Highlighting the talented class of seniors on this year's roster is Rotterdam, N.Y. native Bryan Bigley, who's been a hallmark on the Saints' scoring sheet in each of his four years that he's been at Siena. According to Wronowski, Bryan could be described as "a rare student-athlete who, alongside his brother Robby, put the Siena men's golf program on the map in the Northeast."
Last season, Bigley had a superb year to say the least, as he registered a career-low scoring average of 74.2 after competing in a total of 11 events, including the MAAC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Over the fall, Bigley laid claim to first place individually at the Saint Bonaventure and Lehigh Invitationals. After shattering his own personal school record with a low first-round 64, Bigley capped off the final day of the Saint Bonaventure Invitational with an even-par 70 to finish with a combined score of 134. At Lehigh, Bigley finished at an even-par after shooting a 72 in both rounds to finish with a score of 144. This spring, expect Bigley to end his collegiate career on top, as his performance on the links should equate to nothing short of excellence.
After transferring from Western Carolina University in 2004, Alex Arrigo will look to make an impact in his final semester of play. Last fall, Arrigo participated in three events, finishing third on the team in two, including the Navy and Saint Bonaventure Invitationals. Last spring, Arrigo had his best performance come at the MAAC Tournament, where he finished in 13th place overall (77-82-76-235).
Coming off the best fall semester of his career, Blandford, Massachusetts native Allen Parker will look to be a presence for the Saints this spring. Parker compiled a scoring average of 76.8 after competing in four events on behalf of the Saints; a mark good enough for third on the team. At the Navy Invitational, Parker finished first on the team (77-72-149), while his best performance came at the Cornell Invitational, where he finished second on the team and placed tied for 19th overall (77-74-76-227). After tinkering with his swing in the off-season, look for Parker to come out of the gates this spring with a polished and complete overall game to cap his Siena career.
Hannawa Falls, N.Y. native, Jeremy Melchior enters the final spring of his career looking to improve from the fall, in which he competed at the Don Mershon Lehigh Invitational, where he fired a two-day score of 148. In the spring of 2005, Melchior appeared in all five of the Saints' scheduled events, as he finished with a career low scoring average of 81.5. Look for Melchior to cap his Siena career with both an improved swing and an improved overall game.
After transferring from James Madison University in 2005, Dennis Gosier has had great success in just three semesters as a Saint. Last fall, the Saratoga High graduate recorded his second-lowest scoring average of his career with a mark of 76.3, while appearing in three invitationals on behalf of the Saints. His best performance of the fall came in Olean, N.Y. at the Saint Bonaventure Invitational, where he finished 11th overall and second on the team with a two day score of 146 after firing a 73 in both days. In his final spring of his career, Gosier should improve in all facets of his game and make the end of his Siena career a successful one.
As the final senior on this year's roster, New Hartford native Brian Dunn will look to increase the number of events in which he was featured in and look to complete his final year as a Saint and make it a successful one. Dunn participated in one event last spring, being the Iona Invite as a member of the "B" squad. During the two-day event, Dunn fired an 83 in the first day and capped the event with an 80 in the final round, tabulating a two-day score of 163. Look for Dunn to be showcased in more events this spring and look for his scores to better than each of the previous three years in which he participated in at Siena.
Rounding out the triumvirate of juniors on this year's Siena roster are red shirt-junior Brandon Conti, Chris Haggerty and Matt Lentner. All three will look to make strides in each of their individual games and aid the team in reaching their second-straight NCAA appearance this spring.
Conti appeared in one tournament last spring, being the Iona Invite. Conti failed to appear in any of the Saints' scheduled invitationals during the fall semester, but should have an increase in tournaments played this coming spring.
Haggerty, a native of Queensbury, N.Y., participated at the Lehigh Invitational during the fall semester, where he fired a two-day score of 166. Lehigh proved to be his only tournament in which he was featured in, as he finished the semester with a scoring average of 83.
Lentner also had his lone appearance of the fall come at Lehigh, where he shot a total score of 158 in the two-day tournament. Lentner registered a scoring average of 79, in comparison to last spring where he competed in just one tournament (Iona Invite)
As the only sophomore on this year's roster, Daniel Abbondandolo will look to continue his success on the links this spring. During the fall 2005 semester, Abbondandolo registered a team-low 74.2 scoring average. Last year, the Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y. native tallied a 76.6 scoring average after competing in a total of five tournaments. His best two-day performance of the season came at the Binghamton NBT Bank Collegiate Classic, where he fired a 146 to finish fourth overall and second on the team.
This spring, the Saints embark on an ambitious four-tournament semester slate beginning on February 26 at the Birmingham-Southern Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama. Following the initial tournament of the semester, the Saints will participate at the Fairfield Invitational in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on March 16. Nearly three weeks later, Lafayette College will play host to the Lafayette Invitational on April 6 before the Saints conclude regular season play at the Mount Saint Mary Invitational in Emmitsburg, Maryland on April 20. Following the last tournament of the semester, Disney's Wide World of Sports will host the annual three-day MAAC Championships, which begin on April 27 in Orlando, Florida.