Head coach Sara Doell had one message for the women’s golf team entering the Big East Championship, and that was to turn people’s heads and make them say, “wow, where did Seton Hall come from.” That’s exactly what they did.
The team finished the championship with a fourth place finish and individually sophomores Hannah Basalone and Christina Cant?? finishing 11th and 13th overall.
In just the second year in program history, the women’s golf team finished in the top half of the Big East, ending a season which included their first ever win at the Homewood Suites Siena Invitational and first individual win from Basalone at the Lehigh Invitational.
“I think that coming from what we were last year to how well we did this year, overall throughout the year and to come in fourth in the Big East, is pretty crazy, kind of overwhelming,” Basalone said.
Entering the final day with a four shot lead over Rutgers for the fourth spot, the Hall had their best round of the Championship. With Basalone, Cant??, freshmen McKenzie Cutter and Ali Kruse all shooting a 6-over-par 78, with the team finishing with a score of 312 to preserve the fourth place finish.
The final day also helped solidify top-15 individual finishes for Basalone and Cant??. For Basalone, however she felt like she could have earned a top-10 finish.
“I think I could have done a lot better but it was a good learning experience,” Basalone said. “It was a tough second two days, I defiantly left some shots out there but overall was ok.”
The second day brought some additional challenges as a strong wind blew across the course. Despite the additional challenges the Hall posted the fourth best team score with a 317.
“The girls just managed the wind really well. We shot 317 and Notre Dame who finished second in the tournament shot a 313 that day,” Doell said. “I think the second day performance was the best even though it was our highest score of our three days, but I thought it was our best performance because it was the most challenging day.”
Coming into the Big East Championship, Doell knew her team could beat four of the other teams based on results from earlier in the year, but still sees room for improvement.
“We played really well and we could have actually played even better,” Doell said. “We left some shots out there. I was just so happy to see the big change from last year.”
In the first round of play the Pirates ended the day in a tie for fifth place shooting a 314. Basalone led the way for the team shooting a 2-over-par 74.
Next year the team will be returning much of the team as there is only one senior while three incoming freshmen will be added to the mix.
“We certainly set the bar high and how we will show our commitment and our growth is how we follow this year up with next year,” Doell said.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.