SFU Golf Champs Reign As GNAC Teams Of The Week
Simon Fraser swept the GNAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships for the first time in program history to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors. | Photos by Shawn Toner
Simon Fraser swept the GNAC Men's and Women's Golf Championships for the first time in program history to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors. | Photos by Shawn Toner

Monday, May 1, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Red days at GNAC Championships in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on Monday and Tuesday saw the Simon Fraser men’s and women’s golf teams sweep top honors to earn recognition as the GNAC Team of the Week.

The pair of team victories marks the first time that Simon Fraser has won both the men’s and women’s titles. Red Leafs men took victory in a two-hole playoff against Western Washington after both teams carded a three-round score of 847. The SFU women won their title with a two-round score of 609, nine strokes ahead of second-place Saint Martin’s.

“I’m very proud of both teams for their performances at GNAC’s,” head coach Matthew Steinbach said. “These were total team efforts with everyone contributing counting scores.”

On the men’s side, the Red Leafs were led by sophomore Ryan Hodgins in second place with a three-round score of 3-over-par 216. Hodgins shot a team-leading low round of 3-under-par 68 in the second round while draining the first albatross in GNAC Championships history. That round also stands as his lowest of the season.

All four scoring golfers placed in the top 10 for the Red Leafs, with senior Aidan Goodfellow, sophomore Bailey Bjornson and junior Michael Crisologo following Hodgins. Goodfellow finished in a tie for third place with a score of 4-over-par 217 while Bjornson was seventh with a score of 222. Crisologo notched a top-10 finish in ninth with a three-round score of 224.

After completing the three rounds level with Western Washington, Hodgins, Goodfellow, Bjornson, Crisologo and senior Jordan Bean faced the Vikings in a playoff to determine the GNAC Champion. The two sides were equally matched on hole 10 of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course with Simon Fraser coming out on top on hole 11 to claim its first men’s conference title since 2018.

“We have been battling with WWU all season long,” Steinbach said. “And while we were trailing heading into your final five holes, we knew a strong finish would give us a good chance. We were poised and confident heading into the playoff and our guys played to win. The team victory was a big moment for this group and we have confidence heading into regionals knowing that we can perform at the highest level.”

It was freshman Meera Minhas leading the way for the Simon Fraser women at the GNAC Championships with a third-place finish and a two-round score of 9-over-par 151. Minhas closed out her championships with a low round of 4-over-par 75 that was equal for the best round of SFU’s tournament.

Fellow freshman Izzy Ferguson and junior Natasha Kozlowski followed Minhas in a tie for fourth place with scores of 152. Between the pair, Kozlowski posted the lower round with a score of 75 to open the tournament. Junior Shirin Anjarwalla rounded out the scoring effort for the Red Leafs in sixth place with a two-round score of 154. The GNAC Championship is the fourth in program history and the first since 2019.

“We have a very young team and it was the first experience at Coeur d’Alene for three of them,” Steinbach said. “As the favorite heading into the conference championships, we knew all the pressure was on us. Especially since winning was our only opportunity to earn a spot to regionals. It was a tough grind in difficult conditions, but we stuck to our game plan and played some gritty golf.”

With the conference titles in hand, both squads receive automatic berths to the NCAA Championships. The Simon Fraser men will head to Rohnert Park, California on May 11-13 for the NCAA West/South Central Super Regional while The SFU women will compete at the NCAA West Regional in Dallas, Texas on May 8-10.