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SMC Golf: Belles grab six straight MIAA titles

Matthew Robison | Monday, October 11, 2010

Coming into the fall season, No. 7 Saint Mary’s had two goals: win the MIAA title and make a run at the national championship. After Saturday’s landslide victory in the conference championship at Bedford Valley Country Club, the Belles are halfway there.

Firing a 312 for the day and 635 overall, Saint Mary’s captured its sixth consecutive title.

“That was a great performance,” Belles coach Mark Hamilton said. “Saturday was probably our best round of the year.”

Senior Mary Kate Boyce was the medalist for the tournament and showed once again that she is one of the premier players in the country. She shot a 77 on Friday and 72 on Saturday to take the medal.

“I’ve watched [Boyce] develop the last couple of years,” Hamilton said. “I think this is going to get her over the hump to shooting that low on a regular basis. We’re going to see a lot more of that this spring.”

Freshman Doyle O’Brien also had two sub-80 rounds as she turned in rounds of 79 and a career-best 77 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Senior Rosie O’Connor fired a 79, and freshmen Marin Beagley and Paige Pollack turned scores of 83 and 85, respectively, on Saturday. All five Saint Mary’s golfers shaved strokes off their Friday scores on Saturday.

“It was a great weekend,” Hamilton said. “We showed the country what we can do on a good day.”

Saint Mary’s has dominated the MIAA over the last six years, taking home titles each year. Compared to teams in the past, Hamilton said this team is right up there with the best of them.

“It’s a continuation of the tradition we’ve created,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got some new carriers of the torch to carry it on.”

Boyce, O’Brien and O’Connor were named to the All-Tournament team, and those three plus Beagley were all named first-team All-MIAA selections. For the first time in Saint Mary’s history, four players were named to the first team.

Boyce was named the season medalist as the best player in the conference for the fall, and she completed her awards podium sweep as she received the MIAA Sportsmanship award as voted on by the coaches.

The Belles will start the spring season in March. They are looking to take their conference success into the national competitions and compete for an NCAA title. With the MIAA title under their belt, they have earned the privilege to host two of three rounds in the NCAA Qualifying rounds.

“We’ve got the NCAA Championships coming up in the spring,” Hamilton said. “And we want to win the whole thing.”