NEWINGTON - With the wet course conditions at Indian Hills Country Club, it presented the Newington and New Britain girls golf teams with challenges.
The Indians top three golfers, Jessica Pierzchalski, Chloe Bilodeau and Taylor Kelly have led the way as the seniors for the freshmen-heavy roster.
The trio played a big part in Newington’s 213-271 win over the Hurricanes Monday afternoon.
It was a performance the Indians wanted more out of with high expectations this season.
“We’re expecting to go to states this year and actually maybe have a chance to finish in the top 10,” Bilodeau said. “I think we all have the potential. We’ve gotten off to an OK start dealing with the weather this spring that has been bad. But we’re definitely all going to bring our averages down.”
Bilodeau was the medalist on the day finishing with a 45 and the only golfer to shoot a sub-50. She showed impressive power while also setting up her shots with good ball placement.
“It was one of my better rounds,” Bilodeau said. “I was pretty happy with my performance. Obviously, there were shots I could have improved on, but it was solid for me I would say.”
Pierzchalski struggled at times on the course but as a returning all-conference player in the CCC South and one that had committed to play at Division I Central Connecticut next year before the school eliminated the team, she expects more out of herself and knows she is more than capable of reaching another level in her final season at the high school level.
“It was definitely not the best round for me,” Pierzchalski said. “I was 10 strokes over my average. Last year I finished with a 43.8 average and today I shot a 54, which was definitely upsetting. But that’s alright. It just leaves more room for improvement.”
Kelly was right in front of Pierzchalski and she finished her round with a 53, the second lowest score of the day.
“I know I can do better,” Kelly said. “In the past I’ve been in the 40s range. I struggled with some clubs today. I tried to use newer clubs to make the distance but it wasn’t a smart choice. I played harder not smarter.”
Paired up with Pierzchalski and Bilodeau were New Britain’s Kiley Griffin and Cate Keithline at the top two spots in the Hurricanes’ lineup.
Griffin is in an unfamiliar role this season after playing No. 5 and No. 6 last year. She’s been adjusting to playing with the opposing team’s top players and Monday was tough. She shot a team-low score of 63.
“I’ve definitely done a lot better than I did today,” Griffin said. “The course was really wet so it was a lot easier to get under the ball in a bad way.”
Keithline finished her day with the team’s second-low score, a 66.
At the No. 3 spot for the Hurricanes was Kendra Levesque. She played sparingly last season for New Britain and has been working on her game as the season progresses. Her score of 69 left opportunity to continue to improve.
“I think I did pretty bad,” Levesque said. “I haven’t played in many matches so I’m still kind of getting used to it. But I want my scores to be lower.”
Rounding out Newington’s scores were Leah Tofeldt and Maddie Massarro-Cook. Tofeldt shot a 61 and Massarro-Cook shot a 68.
Leah Gaffney shot a 75 and Morgan Giantonio finished with a 73 to round out the Hurricanes afternoon.
It was another day of progression for New Britain.
“Hitting on the practice range has been fine,” Hurricanes coach Rich Carlson said. “Bringing it to the course it’s totally different. Especially for the new girls that have not played before. But they’re getting used to it. We are where we thought we’d be at this point of the season.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org