SAINT LEO, Fla. – Just three months after completing the fall segment of the 2008-2009 season, the Saint Leo women’s golf team is preparing to battle in five tournaments this spring.
The offseason saw the Lions sharpening their cardiovascular stamina and core strength with sessions in the gym twice a week. In addition, they also participated in individual skill training prior to Christmas break.
Highlighted by two out-of-state trips this spring, the Lions will do battle with both Sunshine State Conference and South Region foes.
To begin the spring season, the Lions travel to Calera, Alabama to compete in the 2009 Ann Rhoads Southern Shootout hosted by Birmingham-Southern College. Taking place on February 22nd and 23rd, this event will feature a total of twenty teams from Division II, Division III and the NAIA. West Florida looks to be the favorite in the field, but the Lions’ focus will be to finish ahead of Montevallo who is currently ranked two spots ahead of Saint Leo in the region.
The very next week (March 2-3), the Lions again travel out of state. This time the destination is beautiful Vass, North Carolina to compete in the Saint Andrews Spring Invitational hosted by Saint Andrews Presbyterian College. Last year, the Lions finished second at this event behind eventual champion Pfeiffer University. Marking the highest team finish in the program’s history, the Lions return thirsty to take home top honors. Anna Riss finished second individually last year and will strive for medalist honors to highlight her junior campaign.
Four days later, the Lions travel to Winter Springs, Florida to compete at the 33rd Annual Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational. A “who’s who” of Sunshine State Conference schools, this event is a final chance to see where the Lions stack up before the Conference Tournament. This event will be held March 9th and 10th and will mark the third consecutive week that Saint Leo takes to the course.
A chance to regroup is then in store for the squad as they have two weeks of practice before traveling to Miami, Florida on March 30th and 31st to compete in the inaugural Barry Buccaneers Invitational. Although the field is currently set at only seven teams, there is no shortage of talent as nationally ranked Florida Southern College, Lynn University and host Barry University will be in attendance. A strong showing at this event will hopefully provide a boost in momentum heading into the Conference Tournament.
Capping off the season for the Lions will be the Sunshine State Conference Tournament held at Lake Region Yacht and Country Club in Winter Haven, Florida on April 20-21. The Lions are currently ranked 7th in the conference and 32nd in the nation. An impressive finish could be enough to tilt the rankings and earn the Saint Leo University Women’s Golf team their first-ever berth into the Regional Tournament.