A pretty steady rainfall didn’t prevent the New Canaan High School girls golf team from continuing its championship championship reign in the FCIAC. It also didn’t stop Greenwich from making its mark in the competitive tournament.
Playing in the FCIAC Tournament was an unfamiliar scenario for the members of the Cardinals golf team, whose lineup includes three freshmen. Greenwich placed fourth in the tournament with a four-player 18-hole aggregate score of 388. New Canaan achieved a four-peat, capturing the FCIAC team title for the fourth straight season with a 346 at Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course in Fairfield.
Freshman Caroline McShea paced Greenwich’s lineup at the No. 1 spot. McShea continued her fine freshman season by shooting an 89.
“It was really tough conditions, at some point you had to stop and wait for the rain to die down a little bit, but front nine I played exceptionally well,” McShea said. “The back nine I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning, but I got myself together. I think I had really great tempo and a really great swing. I just took things really slow, because when I get nervous I tend to speed stuff up.”
Charlotte Langhorne, a freshman, carded a 93 at No. 3 for the Cardinals.
“It was a nice round, I liked the girls I was playing with they were super nice,” Langhorne said. “All-around, it was a fun round, I didn’t feel a lot of pressure. The rain didn’t effect my play that bad. I had some good holes and some okay holes and overall, it wasn’t a bad round.”
Displaying a lot of composure, Langhorne finished several holes strong that began with a struggle.
“Funny enough, the holes that I started really poorly, I finished the strongest. So definitely those holes were some of my highlights.”
Junior Ella Fish finished with a round of 98 at No. 2 for Greenwich, which teed off just after 8:30 a.m., along with the other participating teams.
“It was a little rough, I did not bring my best every hole, but I gave it my all and tried,” Fish said. “Overall, I made it through and I had some good shots and putts too. Considering the conditions, I think we did pretty well and I’m proud of everyone. After playing 18 here, I think we’ll have momentum for states and we’ll be ready.”
For champion New Canaan, senior Stirling Legge shot an 83 to earn medalist honors for the tournament. Teammate Molly Mitchell, a junior, posted an 85 for the Rams, who also received a round of 86 from freshman Amanda Vigano and a round of 92 from Julie Bazata.
“These girls have worked so hard all season,” New Canaan coach Priscilla Schulz said. “They knew it wasn’t going to get handed to them. They worked really hard and the thing is, it’s a true team, a family and they support one another. If one of them doesn’t have their best round, we always have another one, two or three players picking them up.”
Schulz was especially impressed with how he squad rose to the important occasion.
“I couldn’t be happier for them and more proud,” Schulz said. “I was worried that they may feel the pressure too much and it might get to them, but they wanted it for themselves. I think that was great. There is some great competition out here and we knew that it was not going to be easy, so I’m thrilled for them.”
Fairfield Ludlowe placed second with a four-player aggregate score of 372. Ludlowe was led by senior Catherine Wallace’s round of 85. Staples finished two strokes ahead of Greenwich for third place with a 386. Leni Lemcke paced Staples with a 90. Trumbull, which received a round of 87 from Jensie Nicholas, was fifth (393).
Greenwich senior Sarah Peng, who shot a 108, finished her round in style, sinking a birdie putt on the 18th hole.
“In the beginning I thought it was going to stay clear, but then it started downpouring and we all started playing a little slow and we all picked up the pace,” Peng said. “Just the mentality of us wanting to be here got us through the rain and once the rain stopped, we were all playing pretty well.”
Freshman Bella Crasto also played for Greenwich, which was presented with a trophy for winning the FCIAC West Division title. New Canaan won the FCIAC East championship. Langhorne and Fish were named to the All-FCIAC West Team. McShea earned All-FCIAC First Team honors.
“I’m really excited for states and for the coming years,” Langhorne said. I ‘m looking forward to improving and improving.”
Said McShea: “I didn’t think I was going to be in the No. 1 spot on varsity my freshman year, but here I am and I’m really excited to be here.”
Greenwich coach Taner Karakas was pleased with his squad’s performance, especially in difficult playing conditions.
“It was a tough day weather-wise, but they went out and did what they needed to do,” Karakas said. “I’m proud of the way they persevered and did the best they could possibly do. Our main focus this year is being as cerebral as possible and work through the mental mistakes that are going to happen when you play a long round like that and they did a good job of that. We are looking to go into states with a healthy mindset.”