Women's Golf Kicks Off Fall Season on Labor Day

Head coach Carol Rhoades added four new players to the program as the Flames enter their fourth season of competition
Head coach Carol Rhoades added four new players to the program as the Flames enter their fourth season of competition
Aug. 26, 2014

2014 Fall Quick Facts
2013-14 Season Stats
Updated Record Book
Cog Hill Golf & Country Club

The UIC women's golf team will kick off the fall season on its home course of Cog Hill Golf and Country Club on Labor Day (Sept. 1) as they host the Chi-Town Classic for the third year in a row. The Flames tout six returning players for the 2014-15 campaign. Returnees include seniors Elizabeth Curtiss, Ryann Gilley, Cherise Mangal and Kayla Stueland, junior Caitlan Smollen and sophomore Shannon Menard.    

Head coach Carol Rhoades added four players to the program in Kelsey Jensen, Jennifer Kim, Marki Kaim and Julia Kim. Jensen is a junior transfer from Seminole State College of Florida and was twice named an honorable mention NJCAA All-American. Jennifer Kim, Kaim and Julia Kim will be freshmen for the 2014-15 season.

Rhoades also announced over the summer that Garrett Chaussard has joined the program as a Volunteer Assistant Coach. He is a PGA Class A Instructor at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club. Chaussard, who qualified for the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, played on the Canadian Tour and Gateway Tours.

The Flames look to build off their best season in program history. The 2013-14 season saw the team's first individual title (Caitlan Smollen at the Green Bay Dual Match) and the spring concluded with UIC's best finish at the Horizon League Championship (sixth place).

"I look forward to the maturity that our four returning seniors bring to our roster," said Rhoades. "This will be our first graduating class and these four outstanding student athletes have laid the foundation for our future success. With the addition of four new players, our team competitiveness is sure to increase and with that our position within the Horizon League."    

Ryann Gilley    
Gilley led the Flames with an 82.90 scoring average last season and posted two rounds in the 70s. She concluded the spring by tying for 23rd at the Horizon League Championships (April 25-27) with a three-round total of 248 (80-85-83). Gilley enters her senior season with 28 career birdies. 
2013-14 Scoring Average: 82.90    
COACH RHOADES: "Ryann will continue to lead us this season as she has done in past seasons. She will lead not only as team captain but as a consistent competitor. She has taken the necessary steps to prepare herself for a successful senior campaign. Her calming and tenacious drive will help determine our team's growth this season."    

Cherise Mangal    
Mangal posted two rounds in the 70s last season and concluded spring in 19th at the Horizon League Championships with a career-low three-round total of 245 (82-76-87). Her second round of 76 is the lowest at the conference championships in program history. Mangal enters her senior season with 36 career birdies.    
2013-14 Scoring Average: 84.52    
COACH RHOADES: "Cherise comes off the summer season where her strong short game will now be complimented by her increased strength and subsequent length. Her mental toughness will once again prove to be a stabilizing force for our program. She has played in every match since she arrived on campus and she is our most experienced player. Our newcomers will learn from her consistency."    

Elizabeth Curtiss    
Curtiss posted four rounds in the 70s last season, including three rounds of 78. Curtiss concluded the Horizon League Championships as UIC's best finisher as she tied for 15th place with a 54-hole total of 243 (78-81-84). Curtiss enters her junior season with 37 career birdies.    
2013-14 Scoring Average: 85.24    
COACH RHOADES: "Elizabeth returns after a difficult year riddled with health setbacks. She has spent the entire offseason preparing to return to her state championship form by getting healthy, changing mechanics and switching equipment that were impeding her progress. We look forward to her tireless work effort and boundless energy to help us through the season as we familiarize our new players to Division I golf."    

Kayla Stueland    
Stueland played in five spring tournaments last season after sitting out the fall due to injury. She carded a final round score of 83 at the Horizon League Championships (April 27). Stueland enters her junior season with 18 career birdies.    
2013-14 Scoring Average: 95.40    
COACH RHOADES: "Kayla is ready to return to the form that made her a top performer as a freshman. After suffering an elbow injury that required surgery and extensive rehabilitation, she has been able to complete the necessary protocols to return better than ever."    

Caitlan Smollen    
Smollen posted three rounds in the 70s last season and collected the first individual victory in program history with a career-low 76 at the Green Bay Dual Match (Sept. 14). She fired a 79 in the final round of the Horizon League Championship (April 27) and tied for 27th with a three-round total of 253 (86-88-79). Smollen enters her junior season with 27 career birdies.    
2013-14 Scoring Average: 85.14    
COACH RHOADES: "After a sophomore season that showed great promise, Caitlan has diligently worked on lowering her score. Her dedication to the short game should yield huge rewards for this aggressive player. She has worked hard on mental preparation for competition to help her take advantage of a great skill set. I look for this to be a breakout season for Caitlan."    

Kelsey Jensen    
Jensen transferred to UIC from Seminole State College of Florida, where she was a two-time NJCAA All-American. Jensen finished 11th at the 2013 NJCAA Championship and followed that up with a sixth place finish as a sophomore at the 2014 Championship. Her stroke average of 79.45 ranked 13th in the NJCAA last season.    
COACH RHOADES: "Kelsey is a proven player at this level with many accolades and tournament experience. She has twice been a member of a NJCAA runner-up team. Kelsey is a very disciplined and intelligent player who will bring a culture of success to our program. She is also a leader by example who will help our younger players develop over the next two seasons."    

Shannon Menard    
Menard played in four events last season, two in the fall and two in the spring. Her low round of 97 came at the Chi Town Classic (Sept. 2) and her best finish was 11th place at the Green Bay Dual Match (Sept. 14).    
2013-14 Scoring Average: 100.4    
COACH RHOADES: "Shannon returns for her sophomore season with high expectations. She has worked hard on her long game over the summer and is poised to realize her potential."    

Julia Kim    
Kim was a three-time 5A state qualifier at Rangeview High School and won the East Metro Athletic Conference (EMAC) individual championship title as a senior. Kim was Rangeview's first female golfer to qualify for the state championship as a sophomore. Her three total trips to the state championship are also a school record.    
COACH RHOADES: "Julia is an accomplished golfer from Colorado who brings a strong work ethic to the program. Her resume includes success at every level of amateur golf in Colorado. A student of the famous Jake's Academy, Julia brings the total package of fitness, mental training and golf skill training to the squad."    

Jennifer Kim    
Kim was a four-year letter winner at William Fremd, where she holds the school record for lowest round with a 71 at the 2013 Class AA Regional. She earned all-conference honors three times in the Mid-Suburban League. Kim finished the 2013 fall season by placing 16th out of 112 competitors at the Class AA state tournament.    
COACH RHOADES: "Jennifer has experienced success at the local high school level. Jennifer's quiet resolve and intense drive will make her an asset to the program for the next four years."    

Marki Kaim
Kaim was a three-time sectional qualifier and two-time regional medalist at Elk Grove High School. She is the first sectional qualifier, regional medalist and conference medalist in school history. Kaim was also a medalist at the 2013 Mid-Suburban League Championship following a round of 8-over par, which was good for eighth place.  
COACH RHOADES: "Marki was a little late coming into the competitive golf scene. However, Marki's gymnastics background will help elevate her game as she gains experience. Marki's unbridled enthusiasm and drive to do whatever it takes to succeed will propel her to success at UIC."