June 11, 2009
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Nine-time defending MAAC Women's Golf Champion Siena College will have some added competition as they search for a landmark 10th consecutive conference championship next spring. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has announced that Niagara will be adding a women's golf program next season and additionally the league will invite in associate members Albany, Boston University and Hartford to join the Saints and Fairfield to comprise a seven-team league.
"We are thrilled that these teams are joining the MAAC and I feel that it will benefit all the programs involved both this year and moving forward," commented Siena head coach Dave Wronowski. "We look forward to defending our title next year with an expanded field and the fact that in 2012 we will all be playing for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament makes it all the better."
The Saints had a strong 2008-09 season, placing second overall at the Lonnie Barton Memorial Invitational and fourth at the Mount St. Mary's Spring Invite. Siena then edged Fairfield by three strokes to capture their ninth consecutive MAAC Championship.
The Saints return all five members from their 2008-09 squad this fall including rising junior Katelynn Mannix who recently won her second straight individual championship.
Albany, Boston University and Hartford are members of the America East Conference. The MAAC will be eligible to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship starting in 2012.
"The development of women's golf within the MAAC has been a priority with the MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration," notes MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. "The decision by Niagara to add the sport provided us with a membership base that allowed us to seek associate members with the end goal to qualify for NCAA automatic bid status. We welcome the new members and recognize that with such cooperation all the schools will benefit their student-athletes with a more competitive league."
"The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has hosted one of the finest collegiate golf championships in Florida for the past 10 years," Tim Murray, Director of Athletics at Marist College and Chair of the MAAC Golf Committee said. "The league is excited to add these fine programs to the women's championship."
Albany won the 2009 America East Women's Golf Championship, the Great Danes' third team title and second consecutive. Head coach Richard "Doc" Sauers earned his second straight America East Conference Coach of the Year award, and sophomore Corrin Conroy had a two-day total of 155 to take the individual title.
Boston University finished second at the 2009 America East Women's Golf Championship, led by first-year head coach Bruce Chalas. Sophomore Ana Johnson sat atop the Terriers' leaderboard and finished second overall with a two-day total of 159.
Hartford, led by head coach Donna Harris, finished in third place at the 2009 America East Championship. Senior Megan Claxton posted the best round by a Hartford golfer with a two-day total of 161, tying her for third place. Freshman Emily Linn finished eighth place with a total of 168 for the Hawks.
The 2010 MAAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships will take place April 29 through May 2 at the Celebration Golf Club in Celebration, Fla.