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ND Women’s Golf

Inconsistent season ends with retirement of head coach for Irish women’s golf

| Friday, May 13, 2022

The 2021-2022 season was supposed to be a memorable one for the Notre Dame women’s golf team because it was supposed to be a memorable season for every collegiate sports team. After two COVID-affected seasons, just being able to play through the schedule was an achievement.

There were other achievements along the way too, both individually and as a team. Junior Lauren Beaudreau, junior Caroline Wrigley, sophomore Chloe Schiavone, freshman Montgomery Ferreira, and junior Madelyn Jones led the Irish to an impressive second-place finish at the 2021 Badger Invitational in Madison in September. The Irish finished just two strokes back from SMU. They ended the fall portion of their schedule with a fourth-place finish at the University of Louisville Club at Olde-Stone Intercollegiate.

Individually, Schiavone ended the year on an incredibly high mark. She finished 24th in the ACC Tournament out of about 60 golfers. That strong performance in her first ACC tournament appearance was the highlight of a strong year for Schiavone. The sophomore led the Irish with four top-10 finishes in tournaments this season. That stellar work led to Schiavone being one of 36 individuals selected on April 27 to compete at NCAA regionals.

Notre Dame was not able to build on its strong start to the season, however. After finishing in eighth place or higher in four of their six fall competitions, the Irish finished no better than tenth in all five of their spring competitions. Their season finished on quite a bit of a low in the ACC Tournament. The Irish came in last place, marking at least the fourth straight ACC Tournament the Irish have finished tenth or lower.

End of an era

But this season won’t be remembered for what the Irish did on the course. Instead, it will go down as the end of an era. The 2021-22 season marked the 16th season in head coach Susan’s Holt Notre Dame career. It also marked her last. After the season ended, Holt announced her retirement. Holt was as synonymous to women’s golf as any Irish coach is to their program. She is the program’s longest-tenured coach and took home six conference coach of the year awards. Holt led the Irish to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011 and four Big East titles as well. After arriving from Purdue in 2006, Holt led the Irish to heights not seen before in the program.

Transitioning from one coach to another is never an easy thing. That is especially true when a coach as enshrined in a program as Holt is with Irish women’s golf. She has left her successor with some great talent to work with. Schiavone is emerging as one of the best players in the ACC. Beaudreau, Jones, and Wrigley are a strong trio of juniors who finally got to enjoy their first full collegiate golf season. Finding the right replacement for a legendary coach like Holt is never an easy task. But perhaps a new coach could be the shot in the arm the Irish need to take a step forward in 2022-23.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Andrew McGuinness

Andrew McGuinness is a sophomore in Siegfried Hall from Haddonfield, New Jersey, a short drive away from Philadelphia. Naturally, he loves all of his Philadelphia sports teams, even if they don't always love him back. Feel free to reach out to talk sports or TV shows, especially if they're Ted Lasso, Stranger Things, or/and Survivor.

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