Holy Cross women’s golf trends upwards during Covid
John Stolmeier | Friday, May 21, 2021
In his eighth year of coaching for the Saints, T.J. Mannen and the Holy Cross 2020 Spring golf season were brought to a sudden halt by the Covid-19 pandemic. The unusual circumstances surrounding the young team’s canceled season placed the squad in an awkward spot coming into the fall.
Coming into the 2020-2021 season, Mannen knew his team would face a new set of challenges.
“We had a rough year; we started two juniors and three freshmen… they got thrown right into the fire… It was a real five-person effort this year,” said Mannen, whose team was only able to compete twice in the fall because of the pandemic. But the Saints picked up momentum heading into the spring and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
“When they came back in February, we got to go right into a full schedule,” Mannen added. “[And freshman] Annika Johnson was kind of leading the charge. Each event Annika got better, especially when it came to the conference championship… she was able to achieve all-conference by hitting 80 in the last round.”
Along with Johnson, the Saints were led by junior Madison Pool, from Surprise, Arizona, who has consistently filled out the second slot on the scorecard. Pool played her best in Homewood, Illinois in the CCAC championship, where she shot for a two-day total of 182 to tie for sixteenth in the conference.
“Madison was a very outspoken individual who led by example this year. She was always practicing and trying to get better,” Mannen mentioned.
The combined efforts of the five starters showed on April 23 in their final competition at the CCAC Championship. The women’s team took third place in the tournament, with Johnson and Pool placing fifth and 16th, respectively, and Rachel Scherer, Tori Langen, and Sofia McGuiness rounding out positions 30 to 32.
The Holy Cross women’s golf team will be returning all five starters next season.
“We have two freshmen coming in that will definitely help us improve,” Mannen said. “The nucleus of the team is young, and we are looking to do better next season.”
The team will be working hard in the off-season, where Mannen has posed a challenge for the team to achieve an average of below 84 strokes.
Hopefully clear of the pandemic, the Saints are looking to enter competition next fall at the top of their game.