JOLIET – One shot and the Minooka girls golf team is down – at least it is no longer the queen of the hill of the Southwest Prairie golf scene.
That reward goes to Plainfield South, a team who defeated the Indians 370-371, in the process becoming the first team to beat Minooka at the SPC Tournament in the last six years.
“We were competitive. Plainfield South is a good team ... they beat us by one here today. That’s golf,” Minooka coach Joe Host said. “We’ll just tip our caps to them. Our girls played as good as they could play today. You can always go back and look at a shot here and there, but we’re not going to do that. It’s golf and the girls went out to make every shot a good one.”
Minooka had its top three golfers – senior Becca Andreano, Alli Lee and Miranda Sharp – card a 91 on the day at the event at Inwood Golf Course in Joliet. South was led by seniors Alex Catalano (83) and Trinity Hill (88).
“South has great golfers. Alex Catalano is a very good golfer,” Host said. “She’s played well for four years and Trinity Hill she’s also played well at the varsity level for four years. They have experienced golfers and that doesn’t hurt. They played good golf.”
Minooka’s team scores were rounded up by the 98s put up by Ashley Gray and Andra Sharp, so having five scores under 100 is not exactly something to sneeze at.
“It’s hard because we wanted to keep the tradition going,” Andreano said. “But I have a lot of confidence in the girls that are up and coming and I think they can get it back next year. It’s only one stroke, and any day could have played differently. I want to come back and watch them win it next year.”
Something that is certainly conceivable.
“We’re in a good spot. We’ve got some young girls up. Today we were led by a freshman and a sophomore, they both had a 91 to go with the one by our senior,” Host said. “We have some young girls that are ready now and, if you take a look at where we are at at the JV level.”
At the JV level, the Indians had seven of the top nine finishes, including medalist Jill Kettman (50).
“This is always one of the top goals going into the season, especially since we’ve won it five years in a row,” Host said of conference tournament expectations. “There is not a girl in the program up until this year that didn’t win a conference championship. It’s one of the team goals and it will continue to be.”
Andreano is fairly confident that this year’s results are going to be an anomaly.
“We have underclassmen waiting to come in and I think they are going to do great things. I think next year they are going to be even better,” she said. “By the time they are seniors, they are going to be killing the ball out there ... this year was a bit of a disappointment, but I think they can get it going again next year.”