With an impressive 7-0 record to open the season, girls golf is ready to make a deep run into the postseason.
High school golf has a unique scoring system. Six players take on the course, and the top five scores from each team are added together with the lowest overall score winning. In the case of a tie, the sixth player’s score is the tie-breaker.
The League Final tournament of the season was a close call. In the first match, Oaks Christian High School started strong, leading WHS by a nine-stroke lead. However, the girls believe that they have an edge at the next game because of its familiarity.
“Our next game will be a home game, so I think we have the advantage since it is the home course,” said Ace and Team Captain Toni Sottile ‘19.
Playing her senior season, Sottile hopes to make it further than she has in the past.
“My goal this year, personally, is to advance to State or to go further in CIF than I have [before]. It’s my last year, my last opportunity to do that, so I definitely want to give that my best try,” said Sottile.
Sottile, who will be committing to University of San Francisco on Nov. 11, has the pressure of keeping the team together after the departure of star player Kristen Chen, who is now playing golf at Dartmouth. Despite the high expectations for her, she successfully manages to be the team’s biggest cheerleader.
“As team captain, my job is mainly motivating the team and being a leader and showing that no matter what happens, we’re still a team,” said Sottile.
Her teammate Lauryn Wang ‘20 realizes the loss of Chen this season, along with many other changes.
“We lost Kristen Chen, who was our No. 1 player, and Toni fulfils that position now. We changed our top 6 line–up a bit,” said Wang. “We got one freshman in the top six and then another junior who is in the top six this year who wasn’t in it last year.”
WHS currently is in a close second behind OCHS, who they have a friendly rivalry with.
“We have … the second part of the tournament, so we can still get it back there,” said Wang. “We beat them last regular match.”
Celina You ‘20, one of the top six players, also believes that the team can outplay OCHS.
In the past two years, the team has just missed the mark on advancing to CIF Southern Section. For example, they placed fifth when the top four teams advance to Northern Section of Southern CA CIF. However, this year’s group of girls has experience on their side to help get past the rut from previous years.
“I definitely think we have a chance to go further this year [because] we’ve come so close the last two years, and I think just having been in that position, we have so much more experience and we’re not going to be as nervous,” said Sottile.
The team’s biggest strength is the experience of many of the players. Many of the players are upperclassmen who have been through tough losses in the past on varsity.
“We…have team camaraderie as well due to having five juniors on the team that are all starter[s],” said head coach Ross Fulgentis.
Despite the experienced team, one player stands out as a weapon that will push the girls over the edge: Jennifer Liu ‘22.
“We are really grateful for [Liu],” said You. “She will be the leader when all the juniors leave.”
Even though the team has a lot of experience under its belt, Fulgentis believes they always can improve their technique.
“As a team, our short game can always use work…mainly putting as well as chipping,” said Fulgentis.
Despite all the barriers that have come their way, the girls are optimistic that this season will be one to remember.