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Holy Cross squad’s rebuild cut short

| Friday, May 15, 2020

T.J. Mannen has experienced a lot of recent success as the head coach of the men’s and women’s golf teams at Holy Cross, but the reigning Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s and women’s Golf Coach of the Year knew the 2019-2020 season represented a new chapter for his women’s program.

“Our women’s team was in a rebuilding year with only one returning player for the fall [of] 2019,” he said. “We had some great success with one player, freshman Kaitlyn Vazquez … [who] placed in the top 10 in every event we played in.”

Vazquez, a product of traditional California high school sports powerhouse Mater Dei, finished third at the CCAC Cup at Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood, Illinois, where she shot a two-day score of 169. The freshman posted her lowest score at the Taylor University Players’ Club Invitational in Yorktown, Indiana, where she carded a 152 and finished fifth in her first collegiate event.

Unfortunately, Mannen knew he would be unable to rely on Vazquez’s consistent play in the spring.

“We had a setback over the holidays where two of our players decided not to return to Holy Cross for the spring,” Mannen said.

The Saints’ entire spring slate was canceled due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Mannen is still excited to see what 2020 has in store for his program, however, as he brings in a promising recruiting class.

“Our spring never even started because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “However, we are excited for the fall [of] 2020 with four new, very talented incoming freshmen: Annika Johnson from Valparaiso, Indiana, Tori Langen from Lowell, Indiana, Sabrina Dale from Jacksonville, Florida, and Gateway Sofia McGuiness from Los Angeles, California, who will join junior Madison Pool and sophomore Rachel Scherer. Our fall season will kick off with a trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Aug. 31, and we look forward to competing once again.”

Pool and Scherer exchanged the second and third slots on the Saints’ scorecards throughout the fall. Pool, a native of Surprise, Arizona, shot her lowest two-day score at the Taylor Invitational, where she carded a 172. Valencia, Pennsylvania’s Scherer saved her best golf for the CCAC Cup, where she shot a two-day 183 and tied Pool for 15th.

Mannen said he hopes his revamped roster will begin its 2020 fall season on-schedule at one of the most historic locations in all of golf.

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