Match play had already ended under gray skies covering the blue course at Eisenhower Park, with two wins for St. Anthony and one for Our Lady of Mercy. Now the foursome of the two best players on each side had finished stroke play on the ninth hole.
The scorecards revealed two more wins for St. Anthony’s.
It was about a young group of brothers bidding for the NSCHSAA Women’s Golf Team title. Three sophomores and two freshmen played in the finals. But St. Anthony’s were the team that posed happily with the championship plate, after winning 4-1 on Friday
“I had two daughters [Grace London and Emma Giaquinto] that I knew it would be good at the start of the season and the rest really worried me because they were so new to the game,” said Kathy Calfa, the Friars’ first-year coach. “The focus and improvement they showed so quickly was incredible.”
St. Anthony’s went 7-2-1 in the regular season, including 1-0-1 against the Mustangs, who went 4-3-3. Both teams qualified for the playoffs in the semi-finals. And now the Brethren held the top prize.
“It means a lot,” London said. “It’s just the start for me as I’m just a second year student. I just think it’s going to grow from here for me and for the team.
London faced the league’s co-player of the year, elder Mackenzie McManus. No. 1 against No. 1. London birdied the first hole and the sixth and finished two for 38, five shots better than McManus.
“We’re certainly very happy with how we finished,” McManus said. “We have had a great season. Each of our players has made a lot of progress in their own game.”
Giaquinto, another sophomore, had a better shot (49-50) than her sophomore counterpart, Antonia Vitale, at No. 2.
In match play, St. Anthony’s won at No. 3 and No. 5. Rookie Nicole Amoruso beat second Jackie Mestousis, 5 and 4, and rookie Skyler Amplo beat senior Sam Shea, 3 and 2.
Junior Sara Collure was the sole winner of Our Lady of Mercy, emerging with a 3-on-1 decision over runner-up Leah Garvey at No. 4.
“I thought the better team won,” Mustangs coach John Rooney said. “I think we played well. I think they played better.
Next is the NSCHSAA Individual Championship Tournament on Tuesday, an 18-hole competition at Eisenhower. Calfa likes the chances of London.
“I think Grace is a top player,” Calfa said.
Rooney thinks McManus can win. She finished tied for fifth last year.
“I think she has a great chance,” Rooney said. “She’s been playing tournament golf for a long time.”