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Sports

Up-and-coming Saints close out season on high note

| Friday, May 21, 2021

The Holy Cross Saints men’s golf team concluded its season on April 27 with a second place finish out of a field of 10 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s golf championships, played at TPC Deere Run. The strong last performance came at the end of a long season that spanned between the fall of 2020 to this spring. Junior Carter Silva led the Saints with a third place finish individually, posting an overall score of 150 (eight over par for the two-round tournament).

The Saints’ overall team score of 622 provided the team with its best finish in a tournament all season, but still left them short of the conference champions (Roosevelt University) by thirteen strokes. The Saints did post the lowest score for the final day of the tournament with a 304. Holy Cross coach T.J. Mannen found that impressive last day as an encouraging sign for the Saints going forward, but nonetheless was disappointed that the first-round score of 318 put them out of position to win the tournament.

“We go out there and shoot two rounds at 304, and we’re going to be in position to win a lot of these tournaments,” Mannen observed, expressing his hope that his team can maintain this level of golf consistently.

The Saints’ struggle to consistently produce enough good scores throughout lineup contributed to the team’s middling performance in tournaments for most of the season before the successful season finale. Coach Mannen highlighted the need to consistently “get a third or fourth good score out of one or two more guys” to support the particularly strong performances from Silva and fellow junior Camden Dal Corrobo.

The overwhelming good news for the Saints is that their finish to this season has them trending in the right direction, and they are returning their entire lineup for next season — in addition to bringing in several “ready-made” newcomers, according to Mannen.

“We expect to have eight, maybe nine, guys competing for those five spots each tournament next season,” Mannen said, highlighting why he has such high expectations for next year’s team. “I like to set the bar real high to give us something to reach for. Our ultimate goal is always a national championship.”

With the experience they have returning, that is an admirable — if high — goal for the Saints, who will certainly be looking to at least capture the conference championship for next season to build upon their second place finish this year.

Holy Cross advanced to the NAIA national championships in the 2018-19 season (the last full one before this year) after winning the CCAC. The Saints will be looking to repeat that season’s success next year behind a very exciting crop of experienced returners.

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