Red Leaf Women Top The Links As GNAC Team Of The Week
Simon Fraser capped off the regular season in the best way possible by tying for first at the Sonoma State Invitational while Kassie Muanyam claimed individual medalist honors.
Simon Fraser capped off the regular season in the best way possible by tying for first at the Sonoma State Invitational while Kassie Muanyam claimed individual medalist honors.

Monday, April 15, 2024
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore. –  The Simon Fraser women’s golf team was in fine form last week as it tied for first at its final tournament ahead of the GNAC Women’s Golf Championships to secure conference Team of the Week honors for the first time since claiming the GNAC title a year ago.

The Red Leafs put together an impressive showing at the Sonoma State Invitational in Rohnert Park, Calif. on April 8-9 with a two-round score of 623 to match Cal State LA. The two-day score is the lowest for any GNAC team on the Foxtail Golf Course since 2018 when Concordia carded a 628. The result also maintained SFU’s perfect record of eight top-10 finishes this season and gave the Red Leafs their third top-three appearance of the campaign.

“This team has worked so hard this spring,” head coach Matthew Steinbach said. “All nine players are pushing to get better - it’s become part of our culture. You don’t always get rewarded with results, but I’m incredibly happy for this group that they are seeing their hard work pay off.”

The team effort was spearheaded by a stellar showing by junior Kassie Muanyam as she carded a two-round score of 7-over-par 151 to claim individual medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career. Muanyam secured her maiden victory by opening the tournament with a 2-over-par 74 that was good for the second-best round on the day. She stayed consistent on her second trip through the course, carding a 5-over-par 77, including an eagle, to close out the tournament. After last week’s win, Muanyam now ranks fifth in the conference with an average of 76.2 strokes per round.

Sophomore Meera Minhas made it two Simon Fraser golfers in the top 10 in California by placing 10th in the 48-player field with a two-round score of 157. Minhas shot her best round of the tournament on the second day, overcoming an 84 on the first day with a 1-over-par 73 to close out the event on a high note. The top-10 finish is Minhas’ fifth of the season and her fourth in a row. Heading into the GNAC Championships next week, Minhas leads the conference with a 74.8 stroke average through 17 rounds.

Fellow sophomore Anaya Bhandal notched the best result of her collegiate career as she finished in a three-way tie for 13th along with Avery Foster of Sonoma State and Jae Eun Park of Academy of Art. Bahndal carded a two-day score of 159 to secure the top-15 finish and closed out the tournament with a low round of 4-over-par 76 that was the team’s second-lowest of the day behind only Minhas. Behind her performance in California, Bhandal ranks eighth in the GNAC with a 77.9 stroke average through 14 rounds this season.

Freshman Dana Smith and sophomore Sueah Park ensured that all the Red Leafs finished in the upper half of the field as they placed in ties for 18th and 21st, respectively. Smith carded a score of 162 while Park carded a 163 that was highlighted by a 6-over-par 78 that stood as Simon Fraser’s second-lowest round on the first day of the tournament.

Simon Fraser will be back on the course looking to defend its championship title next week alongside the rest of its conference competition as it competes in the 2024 GNAC Women’s Golf Championships on April 22-23 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.