The fall season for the Youngstown State women's golf team featured both young and experienced players stepping up to battle through injuries and adversity. The group earned a season-best, sixth-place finish at the Butler Fall Invitational in early October. In their fall finale at the Shirley Spork EMU Invitational, the Penguins posted their best team-round of the fall with a 315 in the first round. The team also finished the fall with a number of impressive individual performances from familiar faces.
Shutt Finishes Strong
Senior Courtney Shutt ended the fall season with very strong showings in the final two events, finishing ninth at the Butler Fall Invitational and 12th at the Shirley Spork EMU Invitational. Her ninth place finish at Butler was the best by any YSU women's golfer this fall. Her 71 in the first round at EMU, which featured four birdies and 11 pars, was tied for the lowest score of the entire event and was the lowest single-round score posted by any golfer on the team this season.
The 71 matched Shutt's career-low and is tied for the fourth-lowest individual round in program history. She also shot a 71 vs. Niagara as a sophomore in September of 2015. Her three-round total of 229 at EMU ranks in the top-10 of lowest 54-hole performances in school history. Her two-round total of 150 at Butler also ranks in the top-10 of lowest 36-hole performances at YSU.
Consistency from Creager
Megan Creager earned three top-25 finishes in four events this fall and was the Penguins' top finisher on two occasions. The junior finished 16th at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational, 21st at the Shirley Spork EMU Invitational and 22nd at the Butler Fall Invitational. Her first-round 75 at EMU was her lowest single-round score this season and matched a career-best. Creager was consistent and reliable throughout the fall, averaging a team-best 78.4 strokes per round.
Freshmen Stepping Up
Freshmen Haylee McGovern, Kara Raines and Tori Utrup were pressed into action this fall because of injuries and stepped up admirably. McGovern finished 17th in her collegiate debut at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational with a two-round 158. Her first-round 78 was tied for YSU's lowest single-round score of the event. Utrup shot a season-best 78 in the second round of the Butler Fall Invitational. Raines carded a season-best 79 in the third round of the Penn State Nittany Lion Invitational.
Head Coach Nate Miklos and his team were certainly fighting through some adverse situations this fall. Two of the team's key contributors, sophomores Katlyn Shutt and Gabby Minor, were sidelined all fall because of injuries.
Shutt won medalist honors at the Horizon League Championships last season as a freshman and Minor was the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2015-16. Both golfers are expected to return for the spring season, which will provide a major boost.
Haylee McGovern was unable to compete in the final two events of the fall because of illness, causing the Penguins to compete with just four golfers.
The Penguins will now focus on getting back to full strength for the spring season which is currently scheduled to begin Feb. 26 and 27 with the Oyster Shuck Match Play event at Patriots Point Links in Charleston, S.C.
For news and updates throughout the 2017-18 season, follow the YSU women's golf program on Twitter @YSUWomensGolf