Girls' golf advances to state despite rain

imageBy Beth Clifford
Online Managing Editor
After hours of rain, uncertain score projections and sleepless anticipation, Prospect’s girls’ golf is (yet again) state bound. While the majority of Prospect students were enjoying their day off by relaxing or catching up on homework Monday,Oct. 13, six girls teed off at their sectional tournament ready to fight for their state bid.
Eight hours later, the team finally ended the day with a team score of 330 (Flack- 79, O’Donnell- 81, Ponzi- 83, Dazzo- 87, Minasian-91, Accardi-96), their lowest of the season. Almost immediately after the Lady Knights walked off the course, the rest of play was called for the day due to lightening, which meant some teams couldn’t finish and Prospect would have to wait until tomorrow to receive the final sectional results.
24 hours after that comedy of errors, Loyola and Libertyville finished their rounds with higher team scores than 330, and Prospect girls’ golf finally found out they took second place in the sectional tournament and were leaving for state the next day.
The second-place title didn’t come with ease. As senior Emma Dazzo said, “Every hole was a battle.”
Every golfer had at least one or two holes that they weren’t happy with, and rain was on and off throughout the entire round. Before finishing their last hole, four of the Prospect golfers had to step off of the course for a 30-minute thor guard delay.
“That was nerve-racking,” senior Kacie O’Donnell said. “You go back out there knowing that it is really close.”
Besides poor weather, the girls had to overcome competitive adversity as well. In past years, Prospect has been used to being regional champions and golfing alongside the other best teams in the state during the sectional.
This year, however, the golf team placed 3rd in their regional, which meant that each girl’s foursome consisted of only other 3rd place regional teams. That meant that a Prospect golfer aiming for a round in the 70s or 80s was golfing alongside a girl that consistently shoots over 100.
“If I was waiting for my second shot while they were hitting their third or fourth shot,” Dazzo said, “I would have to turn my back, stare at the water, or do anything other than just staring at the green.”
“That’s exactly what I would do, too” senior Isabella Flack added. “Just think about anything but the shot you have next.”
In addition, when it came to pressure, the Prospect girls had it the worst. Following two state championships in three years, four first-year varsity players had to tee off Monday morning with the expectation to make sure their team advances to the next round.
“It is hard to golf under pressure, it really is,” assistant coach Tim Casper said. “Your swing does not have to be that much different to turn out to be really horrible.”
That is exactly why the victory is all the more sweet for the Prospect Knights. They handled the pressure, terrible weather, and collective adversity with ease, and overcoming those conditions in itself was a victory for the team.
The varsity squad left for the state tournament after 7th period Wednesday afternoon, and they will be competing all day Friday and Saturday.
Although their scores are not as low as team scores in past years, the coaches are confident that they have a good shot for placing at the top.
“I feel like we can make some serious noise,” varsity coach Jim Hamann said. “There’s tons of good teams down at state, and we’re one of them.”
The players feel the same way, especially the four competing seniors on the team who are ready to leave it all on the course for their last high school golf tournament.
“We love that course,” Flack said. “We’re ready to battle.”