Teamwork makes the dream work.
The common phrase is applicable in many areas of life and is used to suggest that a goal will only be achieved if you have a team backing you up.
Led by head coach Kim Farrell, the Episcopal Academy girls’ golf team embraced that team-first attitude en route to an undefeated season and the first Inter-Ac League title in program history.
“Our accomplishments were achieved by a true team effort,” Farrell said. “We had the most depth we ever had. Thus, everyone could score for us. Our captains did a great job of mentoring the younger players. In the preseason, I had the girls submit team and personal goals. The team is thrilled by winning the championship because we will now have a girls’ golf banner displayed in the gym along with all the other varsity team championship banners.”
Seniors Abby Baggini, Anabelle Wondrasch, and MaryKate (MK) Chambers took on leadership roles as tri-captains. Senior Cass Sheppard, junior Grace Reilly, junior Cam Stapleton, junior Minjee Cho, sophomore Amanda Jones, freshman Lauren Jones, and freshman Kathleen Mark rounded out the roster.
“I’m truly proud of this team,” said Baggini. “It was a year of records for us in every area, which I think speaks to the unusual depth, commitment, and character that constitutes this group of girls. It’s been a very exciting privilege to watch the program shift over the last four years toward this Inter-Ac championship.”
Lauren Jones scored in the 30s in three matches this season and placed third at the Inter-Ac Individual championships on Wednesday. Chambers, who usually shot in the low 40s, was paired with Lauren Jones often as they faced the best player on the opposing team. Amanda Jones, Stapleton, Reilly, Mark, and Cho significantly lowered their scoring averages this season.
Despite a cold and wet spring season, the Churchwomen (8-0) posted a match gross score of 1,769 and also lowered their single match gross record by 6 strokes (207).
The season started with a tight 230-231 win against Agnes Irwin. The match came down to the last group scores and Cho came through with a score that put Episcopal Academy ahead. Later, the Churchwomen capped off their first perfect season with a 207-215 victory against AIS.
“Going into the season, I knew we had our work cut out for us,” Farrell said. “We had a handful of returning players, but AIS and Notre Dame both had two players who shoot in the mid to high 30s. I could not have been more pleased with how our team played each match, often in very challenging weather conditions throughout the season.”
The key to success was staying warm, even if it included wearing three-quarter length North Face jackets.
“The abnormally windy and cold weather we faced in the beginning of the season definitely posed a challenge, but with our coach’s endearing persistence, we played through and ultimately were prepared for our matches,” Baggini said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to close out my senior golf season than with this win and these amazing girls.”
Episcopal had a school-record nine players qualify for the Inter-Ac individual championships. Kaitlyn Lees (35) and Meghan Fahey (37) from AIS took the top two spots at the individual event. Lauren Jones shot 40 to place third.
“My freshman year, the team consistently shot anywhere from the high 40s to high 50s,” said Baggini. “This year, every girl maintained a below-50 average and consequently qualified for the individual championships.”
Episcopal will send five players to compete at the PAISAA tournament on May 17 at Brookside Country Club. The Churchwomen placed third last year.