Women’s golf captures Sacred Heart Fall Classic
Winning seems to keep on coming for the women’s golf team.
The Pirates captured the team championship at the Sacred Heart Fall Classic on Monday, marking the team’s third win in program history.
The win comes the week after junior Erin McClure won the program’s third singles championship at the Rutgers Women’s Invitational.
The team jumped out to an eight-stroke lead over Yale, shooting a 21-over-par, 309, which was the first time the team had sole possession of a lead in a tournament this season.
“It’s nice to have that big lead, and we had a good talk in the morning about how we weren’t going to be one of those teams that goes out and plays conservatively to try and protect a lead,” head coach Sara Doell said.
“We’re going to be the team that goes out and wins by more than eight. And that’s exactly what we did.”
The team struggled a bit in the second round, shooting a 32-over-par, 320, but it was good enough to add two strokes to its lead over the Bulldogs.
“It’s one of those wins that is a little bit anticlimactic because it was a small field and we didn’t play great, but we played well enough to get the win, and that’s what’s most important,” Doell said.
Junior Ali Kruse paced the Pirates in the first round and was the tournament’s individual leader, shooting a 2-over-par, 72, on the opening day.
“I definitely thought that after the first round I put myself in a great position,” Kruse said.
“I had a really awesome first round, and wasn’t even completely satisfied. I double bogied my second-to-last hole.”
After a rough second round, in which Kruse uncharacteristically shot an 11-over-par, 83, the junior lost in a playoff between two Yale golfers, Elisabeth Bernabe and the eventual tournament champion Sandy Wongwaiwate.
Despite losing in the playoff, Kruse now holds nine career top-10 finishes, which eclipses senior Hannah Basalone and former teammate Christina Cant?? for the most in program history as well as five top-5 finishes, tying Basalone for the program mark.
While she has found success this season with two top-five finishes, Kruse said there is still work for her to do in order to improve.
“We weren’t completely satisfied with the way we played, and we still won,” Kruse said.
“So we’re going to work even harder this week in order to be ready for this weekend.”
Four of the other six golfers who participated in the event for the Hall finished tied for fourth place, all shooting a 14-over-par, 158.
McClure, junior McKenzie Cutter (who competed as an individual) and sophomores Karlie Zabrosky and Megan Tenhundfeld all picked up the top-5 finish.
Two seniors also participated for the Pirates at the tournament.
Basalone, one of the five starters for the Hall, contributed with a 21-over-par, 79-86-165 to tie for 14th overall.
Classmate Haley Van Es, who competed as an individual, finished with a 52-over-par, 101-95-196.
“We have a great team,” Kruse said. “And to show that we cannot play our best and still win is impressive. It’s something good that we can take moving forward.”
The Pirates will compete in the Lehigh University Invitational in Bethlehem, Penn., beginning on Sunday, which will complete the fall 2013 campaign.
The Pirates will look to capture a second team championship this weekend.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at email@example.com.