Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lady Warriors Golf Team Romps To 4th Straight State Title

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Socorro coach Margaret Stanley knew the Lady Warriors golf team had a case of the butterflies.
It’s to be expected of a team that has no juniors and seniors.
But what Socorro accomplished Monday and Tuesday at the New Mexico State Golf Tournament was nothing short of remarkable.
The Lady Warriors overcame the nerves and a ferocious wind to win their fourth straight championship with a two-day total of 749, 57 shots better than second-place Hot Springs at the New Mexico Tech Golf Course.
“After the way we played at the 3A Invitational and at district, I thought we might win by many 10 to 15 shots,” Stanley said. “I didn’t envision this margin of victory.”
Socorro freshman Kristen Cline claimed medalist honors with scores of 84-84-168, four shots better than St. Michaels’ Jamie Palermo (172).
Cline admitted she was nervous on the first day when on the first hole she hit her tee shot out of bounds and ended up with a double-bogey 6.
“I knew I had to calm down because I knew it was going to get better,” Cline said.
And it did get better for Cline and the Lady Warriors.
On the first day, Socorro shot a 372 with Cline leading the way. The Lady Warriors also got solid contributions from eighth grader Shania Berger (90) and sophomore Brittani Webb (90). Theresa Chavez added a 108 and Mirjana Gacanich had a 122.
The Lady Warriors knew they had things well in hand after the first day after they led by 30 strokes.
“They are a young bunch,” Stanley said. “I am very proud of them. They handled the wind. They handled the course. I am proud of all of them.”
Before Tuesday’s second round, Stanley gathered her team behind the practice green for a little motivational speech.
The Lady Warriors didn’t really need it.

They went out and played their games on the second day and they cruised to victory.
“The first day definitely, they were all very nervous on the first tee,” Stanley said. “And it didn’t go away for 10 to 12 holes. Today, it was just play the game and the course. I told them to go out there and enjoy the moment.”
And they did.
They also had a long time to enjoy the moment as rounds lasted close to six hours. But that didn’t stop the celebration afterward.
The girls piled into the back of Stanley’s pickup and they received a police escort and held a parade through town after the victory.
“It was a lot of fun,” Stanley said. “The girls love it. It’s one of their favorite parts.”
Stanley has to be smiling too.
Not only does everybody come back next year, Stanley said there are six or seven seventh graders who will look to make an impact next year.
“It will be good. I think the girls coming up will be pushing the girls on the team. It will be a good competition,” Stanley said.
On Tuesday, an eighth grader helped Socorro to the title as Berger finished third overall with scores of 90 and 84.
“I had a couple of problems and made some mistakes I shouldn’t have made,” Berger said. “But I will work on it.”
And that’s what Stanley likes about her team.
She says a lot of them come to the course in their spare time and work on their games.
“Kristen is just a freshman but she is right up there with the top players we have had here,” Stanley said. “Every year, she gets better. Kristen has a beautiful natural swing and she works very hard during the year. But as far as Kristen goes, I am proud of her. She has matured so much this year by the way she has handled the different tournaments this season. She has become a strong mental player.
“Shania works hard and has a great work ethic. She is out here all the time. Brittani had a wonderful round the first day. That was awesome the way she handled it. And Theresa had been not been playing well but she came through. I got the key words into her head and she pulled through. I am really proud of all of them.”

Picture: Socorro’s Kristen Cline checks her scorecard after her round Tuesday en route to being medalist of the tournament.

Photo by John Severance

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