By Joshua Fitch
The Youngstown State University women’s golf team arrived back home late Tuesday night after finishing in fourth place at the Horizon League Championship tournament in Orlando, Florida.
Posting a score of 958 for the three-day tournament, YSU finished behind Cleveland State University (952), Oakland University (943) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (930), who are now back-to-back league champions.
Finishing tied for second place individually was junior Katlyn Shutt with a total score of 228. Shutt’s teammates, Puthita Khuanrudee (11th place), Victoria Grans (21st place), Rattika Sittigool (25th place) and Jenna Vivo (33rd place) all made their conference championship debut as freshmen.
This lineup competed in the better part of the spring season together, and it was a big reason for the success the Penguins have had since the fall season began in September.
While the Penguins ultimately wanted to bring back a Horizon League Championship, the 2018-2019 season will be one to remember. The team had four first-place finishes and four other top 10 finishes.
It also saw plenty of personal accolades to recognize the individual talent that makes up the team. Nate Miklos, coach of the Penguins, was named the Women’s Horizon League Coach of the Year.
This is the fifth time in YSU’s history that the women’s golf program has won at least four tournaments, and the third time under Miklos’ tenure, which began in 2013.
Four players also received recognition from the league. Shutt and Khuanrudee were both named First Team All-Horizon League, while Grans and Sittigool were named as Second Team All-Horizon League recipients.
It’s the first time in Horizon League and YSU history that three freshman have had league honors. For just the third time in Horizon League history, four players from the same team have gotten all-league honors (Butler, 2006, and Oakland, 2017).
“Having four of our players earn all league honors is an amazing accomplishment,” Miklos said. “I believe it is also indicative of how this season has gone. It has truly been a team effort with different players stepping up and contributing to what has been a special season. I am extremely proud of all four players who were recognized, and our entire team for the hard work and dedication they have shown on and off the course.”
On top of being part of a historic season as a freshman, Khuanrudee was also named Horizon League Freshman of the Year after placing third overall in the league with a 74.86 scoring average for the season.
Khuanrudee was YSU’s top scorer four times, which is a team high, and competed in all 11 team events.
Much like the men’s team, the women have nothing but a positive outlook going forward. Shutt, already the team’s leader and go-to role model, will enter her senior year with three freshman eager to improve next season after a record-setting season.