Indianapolis, Ind. - The Youngstown State women's golf team was picked first in the 2019 Horizon League Women's Golf Preseason Poll after a vote of the league's head coaches, the league announced on Wednesday. The Penguins received six of eight first-place votes and a total of 62 points.
After finishing seventh at the 2018 Horizon League Championships, YSU began the 2018-19 season with a very successful fall that included two team victories and multiple record-setting performances. The Penguins recently opened their spring season with a second-place finish in the Motor City Cup match play event at Mission Inn Resort & Club on Feb. 4-5.
In its season debut at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational, YSU finished ahead of second-place Marshall by 15 strokes and had three golfers finish in the top 10. In their fall finale at the Dayton Fall Invitational, the Penguins earned a five-stroke victory over Findlay and had three golfers place in the top 10. This fall marked the first time since the 2014-15 campaign that YSU won two events during the fall portion of the season.
The Penguins also carded the two lowest 36-hole team scores in program history this fall; 577 at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational and 580 at the Dayton Fall Invitational. Those scores shattered the previous record of 599, which was set in February of 2015. YSU also posted the second and third-lowest 54-hole marks in school history.
Individually, the Penguins are led by junior Katlyn Shutt, who shot two of the three lowest individual rounds in program history (68-64) at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational to earn medalist honors by a dominating 12 strokes. Her 8-under-par 64 in the second round was the lowest individual round in school history. That historic round came after she had broke the program record for lowest round in relation to par with a 4-under 68 in the first round a day prior.
Shutt's two-round total of 132 (-12) at the event also set a new school mark for lowest 36-hole performance. Shutt earned a team-best eighth-place finish at the Horizon League Championships last year, and took medalist honors at the event in 2017 with a YSU and Horizon League-record three-round mark of 217 (73-71-73).
Checking in at second place in the poll with 56 points and two first-place votes is last year's runner-up at the league championships, Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies return four all-league performers from last season. Alexis Jones was named First-Team All-Horizon League and the league's Freshman of the Year in 2018 while Veronica Hague and Maddie Zack each earned second-team honors. In addition, Hague and Kylee Sullivan were each named to the All-Tournament Team after finishing second and tied for third, respectively, at the league meet. Oakland Head Coach Alyssa Gaudio is the reigning Horizon League Coach of the Year.
Defending-champion IUPUI was selected third with 47 points. The Jaguars return All-Tournament Team honoree Marion DeBove, who tied for third at last season's championships, and first-team all-league pick Amelie Svejda. Cleveland State was selected fourth with 43 points, and returns a pair of second-team all-league selections from last year in Madison Butler and Kaylee Neumeister.
Northern Kentucky (31 points) and Green Bay (21 points) were chosen fifth and sixth, respectively, in the poll. UIC was picked seventh (19 points) while Detroit Mercy was selected eighth (9 points). The Flames return second-team all-league honoree Kelly Sterling, who took medalist honors at the 2018 league championships.
The 2019 Horizon League Golf Championships will take place on April 21-23 at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla.
2019 Horizon League Women's Golf Preseason Poll
Pl. Team - Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Youngstown State – 62 (6)
2. Oakland – 56 (2)
3. IUPUI – 47
4. Cleveland State – 43
5. Northern Kentucky – 31
6. Green Bay – 21
7. UIC – 19
8. Detroit Mercy – 9
The Penguins will return to the links Feb. 24-26 for the Edwin Watts Kiawah Island Classic at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C.
For news and updates throughout the spring season, follow the YSU women's golf program on Twitter @YSUWomensGolf