TRUMBULL — It was a day of records at the CIAC girls golf championship at Tashua Knolls Golf Course in Trumbull.
The New Canaan Rams claimed their third straight team title by shooting a 320, shattering the old tournament record by nine strokes, while Greenwich’s Sydney Nethercott took medalist honors with a 2-under par 70 to tie the state mark.
For New Canaan head coach Priscilla Schulz, who has now seen her team 3-peat in both the FCIAC and state championships, the moment was “surreal.”
“To win the state championships and FCIACs three years in a row is absolutely incredible,” Schulz said. “To have three rounds in the 70s and to break the record we set last year at states is amazing. I’m just so happy for the girls. From the beginning of the season to today, they’ve put in so much work and they’ve enjoyed the process. They really deserve everything that they’ve earned.”
The Rams were truly in a zone.
New Canaan was the only team with more than one golfer in the top 10, placing three in the top six.
Senior co-captain Meghan Mitchell led that group with a 76 to finish as the tournament runner-up, sophomore Stirling Legge finished third with a season-best round of 77, and senior co-captain Morgan Hibbert carded a 79 to finish sixth.
Freshman Molly Mitchell finished the Rams’ scoring with an 88, and sophomore Julia Bazata shot a 92.
New Canaan owned the previous state championship record with last year’s 329, also at Tashua Knolls.
“It’s unbelievable; it’s the icing on the cake,” Meghan Mitchell said. “It feels so good to represent New Canaan again and for the third time to win FCIACs and states.”
“We’re both just blown away by this,” Hibbert said. “I’m so happy for Stirling too, she had a great round. We won FCIACs so we went out and just had fun out there. There really was no pressure today.”
Greenwich finished in the runner-up spot as a team, scoring a 349 to edge third-place Warde (351) by two strokes.
The Cards’ day was, of course, highlighted by Nethercott’s performance, as she won the individual title by four strokes. Her 2-under matched a record held by two others: Newtown’s Sarah Houles, who accomplished the feat last year, and Greenwich’s Catherine McAvoy.
“I was pretty consistent and I had to keep calm because I got off to a good start,” Nethercott said. “I just wanted to keep steady and finish out strong. I wasn’t hitting it great, but I was hitting it straight, so that helped. I didn’t hit a driver on a lot of the holes and I feel like I putted well.”
“She was just amazing today,” Greenwich head coach Marie Shimchick said. “She was due to have that kind of round here. It’s a great course and a great layout for her — it fits her game really well. I’m just so happy for her. She really enjoyed it and stayed in the moment today.”
Greenwich also played well as a team, with senior Grace Sunoo shooting an 87, followed by freshman Sofia Ghorbel (95), and juniors Jackie Intriere and Lily D’Oliveira with (97).
“It was a really solid day,” Shimchick said. “I was really excited for Gracie Sunoo for her last tournament to do as well as she did. For Lily D’Oliviera that was her first 18-hole competitive round. Jackie improved tremendously from last year, and Sofia Ghorbel did a really outstanding job. She’s only a freshman and she really turned it around on the front nine, so I was just so excited for all of them.”
For third-place Warde, senior Bethany Fell had the best score with an 81, good for seventh place, while senior Jessica Nuzzaci shot 86. Mia Gramesty (91) and Rachel Sheperd (93) finished off the scoring.
Waterford senior Caroline Petchark and Staples freshman Sophia Sarrazin, who won the FCIAC crown last week, both shot 78 to finish in a fourth-place tie.
Amity’s Tess Cjeska tied Warde’s Fell for seventh place with an 81, with Rocky Hill’s Margaret Montalto was ninth with an 82. Farmington’s Mia Grzywinski and Masuk’s Emma Michetti tied for 10th at 83.
After celebrating with her New Canaan Rams, Schulz gave much of the credit to her captains: Mitchell and Hibbert.
“They have led this team so well this year,” Schulz said. “Even from the time that Meghan came as a freshman and Morgan joined as a sophomore, they’ve made an immediate impact. Not only are they hard workers and they love the game of golf, but they also lead by example. They’ve set a high bar for the kids to follow and the younger kids have loved having them as captains and leaders.”
“To go from freshman year and not winning that many matches to three years in a row winning FCIACs and states is just crazy. You could see the growth. We’ll be leaving, but they’re going to keep going.” — New Canaan senior Meghan Mitchell
CIAC Girls Golf Championship
At Tashua Knolls Golf Course, par 72