Three Matts looking to redeem in D2 preview

Sheldon Warmington

In a bid to reclaim their place among the elite with a first place finish, the Washburn golf team fell just short for the second tournament in a row.

A win at Northeastern State University would have made it four straight years that the Ichabods dominated the competition in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. However, WU fell short of their goal atop the leader board, and finished in third place behind Abilene Christian and Central Oklahoma.

Despite a strong individual effort from Matt Ewald, who led WU in scoring for the third time in as many tournaments, and has finished in the top 5 in every tournament that WU has participated in, the Ichabods collectively seemed to lack the ability to separate themselves from opposing teams and to control tournaments from start to finish.

Ewald believes the team’s shortcomings could result from lack of concentration, but there is still plenty of time for improvement. The short fall season is only half complete, and before counting out the defending MIAA champs, teams must not overlook the three Matts: Matt Lazzo, who finished first in the MIAA points standings last year with 37, Ewald, who was second with 31 and Salome, who was fifth with 21.

Together they make up the core of the Ichabods leading this year’s charge into another potential championship year.

“I’m not sure what to say is happening,” said Lazzo. “You could call it a slump, but the bottom line is that we need 4-5 guys matching how well Ewald is playing in order for us to have a good year.”

Despite the bad breaks Lazzo and Salome have experienced early in the season, Ewald still has confidence the two will bounce back strong for the remainder of fall’s tournaments.

“So far Lazzo has been struggling a little bit, but based on the year he had last year he’s due for a great season,” said Ewald of his junior counterpart.

The Bods are still in a comfortable position, holding second place behind UCM who leads by only 1 point in conference. The real test to see where the Ichabods stand as a team begins today at the Division 2 Championship Preview in Bellingham, Wash.

This tournament will be played Monday and Tuesday, and feature the top 20 teams throughout the nation, which are projected to compete for the national championship.

“All the best teams will be there,” said Ewald. “Thiis will be a good measuring stick, and even though it will be a tough tournament we hope to have fun while we compete and try to make a mark on the better teams in the nation”.