Men’s Golf Selected as the Preseason Favorites to Repeat as MAAC Champions in 2018

Men’s Golf Selected as the Preseason Favorites to Repeat as MAAC Champions in 2018

JERSEY CITY, NJ – The defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champion Saint Peter's men's golf team was selected as the favorites to repeat in 2018 in the MAAC coaches' preseason poll, announced by the league today. The Peacocks, who will be pursuing their fourth MAAC title in the last five seasons, received 72 total points with four first place votes.  

 

"Being picked first by the coaches in the preseason poll is a huge honor," said head coach Nick Dilio. "It means that the coaches felt we had the best fall season and are likely to win MAACs again. With that being said, it doesn't mean anything if we don't win MAACs."

 

The Peacocks have enjoyed much success over the past four seasons, winning three out of the last four MAAC team crowns and making three appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Peacocks won the program's first and second ever men's golf titles in back-to-back seasons during 2014 and 2015, before claiming a third championship last season in 2017. Individually, junior Mike Winter won the 2017 individual MAAC title and McLeod Trophy for the Most Outstanding Golfer (MVP) of the tournament joining current head coach Nick Dilio as the program's only individual MAAC champions, with Dilio claiming the honor in 2016. Dilio was also named the 2017 MAAC Coach of the Year, becoming the second Saint Peter's head coach to ever win Coach of the Year honors, joining his former coach and three-time Coach of the Year winner Peter Falloon (2012, 2014, and 2015). With the honor, Dilio becames the first person in MAAC history to win both the McLeod Trophy as a player and the Coach of the Year trophy as a head coach.

 

In the fall, Saint Peter's finished top five in all but one meet. The team's best results in the fall came at the George Hill Shootout at the Huntington Crescent Club where freshman Jeffrey Peters posted a score of 66 (-4), winning the individual title, and finishing as the only player under par at the single round invitational. Michael Stewart followed Peters and tied for third place after he shot a 72 (+2). As a team, the Peacocks finished in second place overall, posting a team score of 295 (+15), just one point shy of the winner.

 

"I don't feel like the team has the pressure to repeat. We have a different team than we did last year. If we feel any pressure it will be because some guys haven't been in that situation before. As far as a target on our backs, I think that's been the case ever since we started winning back in 2014," Dilio said regarding pressure and having a target after winning the MAAC title last season. "Our goal is to advance as far as we can in NCAAs. That all starts by winning MAACs. Next month that journey will begin in Florida with spring training. This is where it starts. The guys are very excited to get the season underway and to defend our title."

 

The Peacocks tee-off the spring season in the 2018 Checkmate Match Play Challenge at Seaview Golf Resort in Galloway, NJ from March 30 to April 1.

 

Saint Peter's will have the opportunity to defend their title in the MAAC Championships from April 20-22 in Lake Buena Vista, FL at Disney's Magnolia Golf Course. Two of the three MAAC titles won by the Peacocks came on Disney's Magnolia Golf Course (2015 and 2017), with the 2014 crown being won at Disney's Palm Golf Course.

  

Men's Golf Preseason Poll

1.

Saint Peter's (4)

72

2.

Siena (1)

59

3.

Rider (1)

58

4.

Manhattan (2)

55

5.

Monmouth

49

6.

Iona (1)

48

7.

Fairfield

32

8.

Canisius

20

9.

Niagara

12

 

For all updates regarding men's golf, please visit saintpeterspeacocks.com.