When asked about what specifically stands out to him about the type of player him and head coach Patti Rizzo are welcoming to the program in the fall, Koskinen rehashed how he does not see many weaknesses in her play style.
“The nice thing about Sara’s game is that she is a very well-rounded player. She does everything very well. I think we can spend most of the time talking about strategy on the course and trying to eliminate small mental errors,” Koskinen said. “Building up her confidence will be huge for Sara. When a player starts to believe in themselves the way we believe in them, they become a dangerous weapon.”
When granted the opportunity to come on a campus visit, her first in person interactions with Rizzo, Koskinen and future teammates helped solidify her desire to be a part of The U.
“[Coach Rizzo] was really welcoming and I loved how she was telling me all about playing on the LPGA Tour,” Byrne said. “I also had the opportunity to meet most of the team during my visit and got the chance to play with Renate [Grimstad] and Anna [Backman] when I was there and they told me all about the student-athlete life in Miami. The entire team was so welcoming and they just made me more reassured about coming to Miami.”
Not only did Byrne gain reassurance on wanting to be a part of The U, but her first impression also stuck out to Grimstad, the 2020 Dinah Shore Trophy Award winner and a WGCA Second Team All-American.
”I’m very excited to have Sara join the team. And of course, having another European doesn’t hurt at all,” Grimstad said with a laugh. “I think it’ll be good to add some competition and Sara will definitely be someone to pay attention to. She’s an all-around solid player with tons of talent and potential, that’s one of the first things I noticed when Anna and I played with her.
“She’ll be a good addition to an already diverse team, both in terms of nationalities and personalities, bringing in a very positive attitude,” Grimstad continued. “She’ll be able to challenge us all early on and I think that’s something we all need in order to keep moving in the right direction.”