Golf Coach Excited About Team’s Possibilities

Although the North Eastern Athletic Conference golf championship is months away in April, Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Matt Haile already is looking forward to it as the start of his team’s fall season looms.

“I’m really excited to see how we do. We have some freshmen who really have been playing some spectacular golf,” said the coach, beginning his ninth season, as the Wildcats prepare for their Wednesday opener at the Keuka College Invitational.

Junior Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown, and sophomore Ben Fails, of Hummelstown, top the returning players. Newcomers who are off to a good start include freshmen Eli Dyer, of Wallington, Connecticut; Brian Whelan, of Cresco; and Dan Pivirotto, of State College.

Among the other returning players pushing for a starting position are sophomores Austin Moscariello, of Milton; Matt Ciccone, of Doylestown; and Mike Lautensack, of Berwyn.

The four-match fall season concludes Oct. 10 when Penn College hosts the NEAC Fall Preview on its home course at the Williamsport Country Club, which will also be the site of the conference championship April 28-29.

“The country club is one of those courses that you have to play several times to really figure it out – to know where to hit it and know where to miss. … As a freshman, that’s always the tricky part, these guys aren’t getting to see the courses ahead of time because most of our events are one-day events, but they have the talent to adapt and go out and put up a good number,” said Haile, who recently successfully defended his men’s championship at Bucknell Golf Club.

According to a recent NEAC Coaches’ Poll, the Wildcats have been picked to finish fifth in the conference. But Haile thinks they will surprise.

“I think (fifth) is low. … I think this year is going to be a great year for us. … Rutgers (University-Camden) has been the team to beat (and is the top pick in the poll) but I think we have a chance. With us hosting, I think we have a chance of winning the conference championship if we come together and play as a team,” the coach said.

First things first, however.

“The fall season is all about getting foundation, getting them prepared for the spring, getting that confidence, getting everyone on the same page of where our program is headed and what we are trying to accomplish.

“With us in our first year as a full member of the NCAA (Division III), and knowing that, if we win a conference championship we have an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Championship, they’re taking it a lot more seriously. You can see that fire in their eyes,” Haile said. “There is something different about this year and that’s why I am excited to see how we do.

“What I’m trying to do, as a coach, is getting them ready mentally, getting their games where they need to be mentally to get us where we need to be as a team in the spring. I think we’re off to a good start,” he added.

FLASHBACK
Men’s-Women’s Cross-Country
For the first time since becoming a member of NCAA Division III, two Wildcats crossed the finish line first in their respective men’s and women’s races. Competing Saturday at the Morrisville State College Invitational, Josh Velez, of Lewistown, topped the 117-runner men’s 8K field in 28:07.2 and Sidney Trunzo, of Williamsport, led the 96-runner women’s 6K field in 24:45.6. Also in the top 10 for the Penn College men were Thomas Runner, of Elkridge, Maryland (seventh in 29:34.6), and Matthew Leiby, of Danville (eighth in 29:46.2). The Penn College men finished second among 12 teams and the Penn College women seventh among 10 teams. SUNY ESF took team titles in both races.

Men’s Soccer
In its home opener on Wednesday, Penn College lost to Keystone College, 2-0, in nonconference action. Keystone led in shots 12-10 (8-7 on goal) and in corner kicks 6-0.

Penn College broke into the win column for the first time this season with a 3-0 shutout at Delaware Valley University on Friday to go to 1-3 overall. Daniel Hibbs, of Loyalsock Township, put the Wildcats on the board at 19:17 and Austin Dowrick, of Olney, Maryland, struck at 43:21. Assists on both of those goals came from Chris McFarland, of Coatesville. Adam Heintzelman, of Mercersburg, added the final tally at 63:34. Penn College led in shots ,14-13 (9-4 on goal), and in corner kicks, 6-3.

Women’s Soccer
Tiffany Brown, of Mechanicsburg, and Christina Weber, of Howell, New Jersey, each scored goals as the Wildcats (0-1-1) battled Keystone College to a 2-2 double-overtime draw on Thursday. Penn College was without coach John McNichol, who was in a delivery room awaiting the birth of his first child. Filling in for McNichol were assistant coach Kristen Gedon and men’s coach Tyler Mensch.

Men’s Tennis
In their season opener on Saturday at Susquehanna University, the Wildcats lost, 9-0, dropping to 0-1.

Women’s Volleyball
Facing Morrisville State College at home in its first NEAC match of the season on Saturday, Penn College lost 0-3 (13-25, 12-25, 16-25). Sophie Coldsmith, of Gettysburg, led the Wildcats with eight assists while she and Jordyn Smeltzer, of Manchester, each had eight digs. Later in the day, in a nonconference match against Misericordia University, Penn College lost, 1-3 (26-24, 15-25, 15-25, 20-25), to go to 1-3 overall. Coldsmith led the way with 24 digs and 18 assists.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: Host Penn State Abington (4-3 overall through Saturday, 0-0 NEAC through Saturday), noon Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Abington: Lost 0-3 last Oct. 15.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS
Men’s Soccer
Overall: 1-3
NEAC: 0-0
Wednesday, Sept. 6—host Keystone College, L, 2-0
Friday, Sept. 8 – at Delaware Valley University, W, 3-0
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Pitt-Greensburg, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 17 – host Westminster College, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – host Summit University, 7 p.m.

Women’s Soccer
Overall: 0-1-1
NEAC: 0-0
Thursday, Sept. 7 – at Keystone College, T, 2-2 (2 OT)
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – host Lycoming College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Wilkes University, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 17 – host Penn State Altoona, noon
Wednesday, Sept. 20 – at Penn State Harrisburg, 4 p.m.

Men’s Cross-Country
Saturday, Sept. 9 – at Morrisville State College Invitational, finished second among 12 teams. Josh Velez won the 8K race in 28:07.2.
Saturday, Sept. 23 – at Lock Haven Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Women’s Cross-Country
Saturday, Sept. 9 – at Morrisville State College Invitational, finished seventh among 10 teams. Sidney Trunzo won the 6K race in 24:45.6
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Abington Invitational, 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23 – at Lock Haven Invitational, 11:30 a.m.

Men’s Golf
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – at Keuka College Invitational, 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – at Elizabethtown College Invitational, noon

Men’s Tennis
Overall: 0-1
Saturday, Sept. 9 – host Susquehanna University, L, 9-0
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Misericordia University, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Arcadia College, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24 – at King’s College, 10 a.m.

Women’s Tennis
Overall: 0-0
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Misericordia University, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 – host Susquehanna University, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Arcadia College, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 17 – host Elmira College, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24 – at King’s College, 10 a.m.

Women’s Volleyball
Overall: 1-3
NEAC: 0-1
Saturday, Sept. 9 – host triangular with Morrisville State (NEAC), L, 0-3 (13-25, 12-25, 16-25); and Misericordia University, L, 1-3 (26-24, 15-25, 15-25, 20-25)
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC), 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 22 – at Keuka College (NEAC), 7 p.m.

For more on the North Eastern Athletic Association visit the conference website.

For more, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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