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posted: 8/19/2013 10:34 PM

Prospect takes the initiative, wins Early Bird

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Prospect's girls golf team was flying solo on Monday as its chief pilot and assistants had teacher's institute obligations.

But that didn't stop the Knights from reaching new heights.

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For the first time in school history, they came in with four scores under 80 and cruised to a 302-316 victory over runner-up Fremd in Conant's 2013 Early Bird Golf Tournament at Fox Run Golf Club in Elk Grove.

Flying in territory all by herself, senior Kiley Walsh tied her own personal best with a 1-under 71 to take top honors for the second straight year at the annual season-opening tournament.

This time, she won over runner-up and classmate Ally Scaccia, who carded an impressive 75 with birdies on 2 and 11.

Prospect's other top two scorers were senior Emma Menich (77) and junior Kacie O'Donnell (79).

Walsh netted birdies on holes 8, 13 and 15 while junior Isabella Flack and senior Bridget Bassil each had 1, giving the Knights seven birdies on the day.

"I'm so proud of everyone on my team." said Walsh, who won the 2012 tourney with a 73. "I know for the majority of time I can get into the top 10, so when I'm battling to cut down strokes, it's for my team, not for me."

It's attitudes like Walsh's why the Knights have already been ranked No. 1 in the state this season and are coming off a state title and state runner-up the last two seasons.

Walsh, Scaccia and Noreen Caporusso, who had knee surgery in May, have all been receiving college offers.

"Going to college will be hard," Walsh said. "Because I don't know how it can get better than this team. I can't wait to be with my teammates every day. They work so hard and I knew this (getting four scorers in the 70s) was possible. We came close a lot of time last season."

The Knights' big scoring day came without the services of standout Caporusso, the 2012 sectional champion who suffered a torn ACL in late April while competing in the Mid-Suburban League badminton meet.

But Caporusso, who had surgery in May and hopes to be back playing in a month, still managed to have an impact Monday.

She served as a coach while riding a golf court around the course.

"She was telling us things just like Mr. (Jim) Hamann (the Knights' coach) would," Scaccia (37-38) said. "It was great seeing her out there on the golf cart."

"Noreen helped a ton," added Walsh (36-35), who bounced back from hitting a ball into water on No. 16 to produce a nifty up and down (15 foot putt) to save par. Walsh's final score also overcame a double bogey in which she four-putted on a green.

"It's my senior year," she said. "I've got to keep scrapping. There's no time to get down on yourself."

Menich (36-41) placed fourth while O'Donnell (42-37) was ninth.

"The girls came out fired up," Hamann said after learning about the 302 score, which is 15 strokes lower than the team's 317 average last season. "We had a really good practice Saturday at St. Andrew's (West Chicago). We worked a lot on the short game. The girls did a great job and it paid off.

"I told Noreen to serve as team captain and she did a great job of giving me updates and how the girls were doing and asking me my opinion for what the girls should be doing on different holes."

Fremd's girls did a lot of good things, too.

The Vikings repeated their second-place finish of a year ago. Their 319 score bettered last year's 330.

Leading the way was senior Jennifer Kim with a 76, easily besting her 83 last year. She was followed by junior Kelly O'Sullivan (79 for tenth place), senior Dorothy Feng (81) and sophomore Jae Hee Hurr (81).

"I just wanted to try for pars every hole," said Kim, whose third-place score included 1 birdie and 1 bogey. "I just try to play like it's a practice round."

Buffalo Grove's fourth-place finish (330, just 2 strokes behind third-place finisher St. Charles North), was highlighted by a pair of 78s carded by the Guiao sisters who tied for seventh.

Senior Amber shot a 35-43 while freshman Lauren made her high school debut with 37-41. Senior Courtney Meyer added an 81 for the Bison followed by classmate Kelli Zickert (95).

"Amber and Lauren played real well, it was exciting to see," said BG coach Matt Myers. "And with Courtney playing well, too, we'll have a fun rivalry with them all season."

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