The Pirates broke out the brooms in Seekonk, Mass. on Oct. 16, claiming the top three individual spots to ensure a first-place finish at the team’s final fall tournament, the Brown Bear Fall Invitational.
The event proved to be one to remember, as never before had Seton Hall claimed all three top spots in a tournament. It was the first time since 2015 that even two Pirates claimed the top two spots.
Freshman Mia Kness defeated sophomore Maddie Sager for first place in a playoff after the two initially finished in a tie, while sophomore Lizze Win finished in third. For Kness, it was her first championship victory in just her fifth collegiate tournament. Kness’ five tournaments is the second fewest needed to secure an individual victory in Pirates history, as only teammate and senior Cassie Pantelas captured a win at a faster pace.
“It was really fun to play couples with Maddie, and I enjoyed being a part of the tournament,” Kness said. “The team really came together, especially on the van ride home. Cassie [Pantelas] and Macky [Fouse] poured water on me at the end so everyone was happy, and it was an awesome feeling.”
First-year head coach Natalie Desjardins raved about the team’s performance, which resulted in the team’s first top finish since their opening tournament in 2016, the William & Mary Invitational.
“The weekend was a huge breakthrough for our girls, especially for Lizzie,” Desjardins said. “Maddie has been a driving force, finished under par three times in four tournaments. Your heart breaks for her a little but can’t be happier for a freshman like Mia and having her win a tournament so early; her future is bright.”
“Going into the practice round, I had a good feel with the course and the greens, so I felt like I would play well,” Kness said. “I didn’t have the expectation of winning at the start but I knew I was going to be putting up good scores.”
Kness and Sager both finished the two-round tournament at one-under-par, while Win finished a mere two strokes behind at one-over-par.
Overall, the Pirates combined for a composite score of 569, or just one-over-par. They defeated second place St. John’s by 34 strokes.
“To walk out of Brown with a 1-2-3 win was incredible,” Kness added. “It’s never been done before so we got to make history there and it was really cool.”
In her first few tournaments in charge of the program, Desjardins has gotten the best out of her Pirates, while preaching a consistent message of motivation.
“My motto for every team is to leave your legacy,” Desjardins said. “It’s how you want to be remembered, not just on golf course, but also in class and on campus. I know this is what they want, and we couldn’t have asked for a better fall season.”
When a team gets rolling the way that the Women’s golf team has, it is unfortunate that the momentum that they have built has to be put on hold until the spring. However, there are some good things that come with the end of the fall season. The team will now have the ability to take a step back, recuperate, and find things to improve upon. With that being said, the team is wasting no time looking forward to what the spring season will have in store for them.
“I’m excited to see what the spring brings,” Desjardins said. “The girls are ecstatic, and we are looking to build off the program’s accomplishments.”
Hopefully, the team can add to their list of accomplishments in the Spring. If the Fall season was any indication of things to come, the Spring season will be a successful one for Desjardins and her team.
Matt Lamb can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MattS_Lamb.