Bulldogs golf captains lead the pack

The lady Bulldogs pose for a team photo. The season begins at the Lady Panther Fall Invite Sept. 21. Submitted photo

The Truman State University women’s golf team will return to action this fall with ambitious goals.

Senior Emily Ducaji is one of the captains on the team this year, and the upperclassman is looking to return to familiar form.

“Individually this season, I’m gonna keep doing the same thing by continuing to work hard and improve,” Ducaji said.

Ducaji was named to the Academic All-GLVC team and competed in each tournament last year for the lady Bulldogs. The captain went on to provide an explanation for new golf fans as to how their season works.

“Our fall season is technically our off-season,” Ducaji said. “We play in the fall to earn a ranking heading into the spring season.”

For collegiate golf, the fall season serves as a tune-up of sorts for the team. They play in what is known as the championship season in the spring. The goal of the championship season is to earn a bid in the regional and eventually national tournament.

“I think that we are going to be coming into this season hungrier than ever,” Ducaji said.

Maya Schnable is another senior on the team, and holds the other captain position with Ducaji. 

The senior does not shy away from her role, and expressed great pride in her selection.

“I have always been the type of person to step into a leadership role on and off the course,” Schnable said. 

Schnable also earned her second Academic All-GLVC honor last year and continues to be a leading example for her team.

Unfortunately, the senior captain suffered an MCL injury right before the spring season, but managed to find some positives in the situation.

“Being injured during the spring season was rough on my game,” Schnable said. “However, it allowed me to renew my mental game.”

The mental side of golf is something that Schnable considers to be overlooked by many, and cited it as a key component to the sport.

The outgoing and positive attitude that Schnable aims to bring into every aspect of the team is another point of pride from the senior.

“As a captain, I want to see the team give it our all every tournament,” Schnable said. “We also take pride in having the best sportsmanship every time we compete.”

Schnable went on to label the first four tournaments of the season as high-standard competitions, and hopes it will prepare the team for spring. The captains’ effect is certainly felt by the younger members of the team, such as sophomore Catherine Salem.

“Our captains keep us focused on pushing each other in a positive way to be the best team we can be,” Salem said.

Last season, Salem traveled with the team quite often despite only being a freshman, showing her talent early on in her career for the team. The sophomore does not take her travel opportunities lightly and mentioned how playing in a tournament is not a sure thing for anybody.

“Playing in a tournament is not guaranteed, but I can guarantee that I will work as hard as possible to be the best I can be,” Salem said.

The competitive nature of individual golf performances to qualify for competitions is met with a healthy mix of team support. Salem noted the supporting environment that the team strives for, where players that may not have traveled for a given tournament still show full support for the others.

The Lady Bulldogs’ fall season kicks off Sept. 20 at the Lady Panther Fall Invite hosted by Drury University.