Girls golf: Wilton expects breakout season
After two years of building up the program from scratch, the Wilton High girls golf team has the experience, and numbers, for a breakout season.
The Warriors have seven new players, upping the roster to 14 girls. That’s up from eight in their inaugural season in 2014, and up from 11 last year.
“The team’s come a long way from the first year of really struggling to get four or five girls for a match. It’s definitely a little deeper now,” said head coach Stuart Waack. “The last two years have been like a developmental program. This is the year we really plan to get some wins.”
The Warriors open the season on Wednesday at Silvermine Golf Club, against New Canaan.
Wilton is coming off a 2-10 season, and returns its top two golfers in junior captains Nora Noel Nolan (all-FCIAC honorable mention last year) and Morgan Hickey. Both played a lot of golf last summer, including tournament play, and Waack expects them to be much improved.
The addition of freshman Karli Williams, who has tournament experience, will give the Warriors a top three like they’ve never had before.
“Our first three golfers really puts us in a different position to where we’ve been in the past,” said Waack. “We should be able to start competing with most of the teams in the FCIAC — maybe not the powerhouses. We should be climbing up the standings.”
Junior Carolyn Yee, in her third year on the team, saw some varsity action last season and could emerge as a key player at the number-four spot.
After the top four, the lineup is still a work in progress.
“I’m trying to find a steady fifth player. I’ve got some girls who have some experience,” said Waack.
Vying for spots in the starting lineup are two returning players, junior Beth Heffernan and sophomore Sophia Kammerman, and new sophomore Maya Fazio.
Seven players will be looking to improve their games over the season. That group features returning junior Grace Ullman and six new sophomores in Sophie Phelan, Jessica Tambascio, Olivia Collender, Ashleigh Hawthorne, Madeline LeBeau and Kelly Wang.
All in all, Waack is encouraged about the future growth of the girls golf program.
“Hopefully, this is the year we finally turn the tide,” he said. “What’s nice is I have no seniors, and the success we have this year will continue to build and draw some positive vibes and get more girls playing.”