NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's golf team has been picked to finish second in the Great Northeast Conference this season.
The Corsairs, who finished third last year after winning the GNAC championship two years ago, received two of nine first place votes and 71 points. Rhode Island College got six first places and 78 points, while Southern Maine received the other first place vote and 59 points.
Johnson & Wales was fourth in the poll with 53 points; Anna Maria was fifth with 49, St. Joseph's (Maine) sixtb with 35, Worcester State seventh with 25, Suffolk eighth with 22 and Emmanuel ninth with 14.
"I think Rhode Island College is the team to beat," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Joel Baptista. "They won last year, and they return all five starters, all of whom are capable of shooting good scores with a lot of experience, so they're on top of the hill right now. The rest of us are looking to knock them off. Southern Maine returns a good team, they have added a couple of good players, Johnson & Wales is good, and Anna Maria, St. Joe's, Suffolk and Emmanuel add a lot of depth to the conference."
Baptista thinks his team could challenge for the title. "I like our chances, we have a lot of experience, we've been to the NCAAs, but we need to work on consistency," said Baptista. "With more consistency, we could have had more success. The return of junior Brandon Oldham (Mattapoisett, MA/Old Rochester Regional HS (Allegheny College/BCC), who was a regular in the lineup two years ago but was not with the team last season, will help.
"The addition of Brandon Oldham, a starter on our championship team, will add depth and leadership," said Baptista. "We have some good players coming in as well, and it will be interesting how things play out during our tryouts."
Anna Maria will host the GNAC Championships October 21st and 22nd, and the winner will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.
UMASS DARTMOUTH GOLF