The goal all season for Prospect's girls golf team has been to play at the Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur for the IHSA state finals.
The Knights made it Monday and were in a state of excitement.
Senior Ally Scaccia shot a 2-under-par 73 at the Buffalo Grove Golf Course to lead the Mid-Suburban League champions to their third sectional championship in four years and their fourth straight trip to the state finals.
"We are excited about the state tournament," said Prospect coach Jim Hamann, whose team has placed fourth, first and second the last three years in the Class AA showcase event. "These girls will be ready. We love that course."
Only one golfer had a better score than the Bradley-bound Scaccia on Monday. It was her playing partner, Loyola's Isabella Kane, a senior who shot a 72 over the par-75 layout that included four par 5s.
The Knights (311) finished ahead of state qualifiers Loyola (318) and New Trier (321) in a talent-laden field that saw Buffalo Grove (329), Maine South (330) and Fremd (338) round out the top six.
"I told the girls they really worked hard out there to shoot 311 on a tough, long par 75 course with the way the wind was blowing," said Hamann, whose team's winning score card also counted scores from senior Noreen Caporusso (75), Kiley Walsh (81) and Emma Menich (82).
Scaccia's score included a personal-best 6 birdies, breaking her former mark of five when she shot a school record 69 in the MSL conference meet.
Scaccia recovered nicely after making an 8-foot putt for a double bogey to start her round.
"I didn't even know we were both (Scaccia and Kane) playing that well," Scaccia said. "She's so nice and a great player."
Scaccia has been "Miss October" for the Knights. She is a combined 4-under par in the postseason (MSL meet, regional and sectional) with a 69, 70 and 73.
"Four-under par in the biggest meets of the year tells you how much hard work Ally has put in," Hamann said. "She is ready for an outstanding state tournament.
"Cap (Caporusso) played fantastic all day. Her front nine (34) was one of her best of the season. And I thought the front was tougher than the back. Kiley (Walsh) worked extremely hard out there and Emma (Menich) played 17 fantastic holes.
"Isabella Flack (83) and Kacie O'Donnell (84) couldn't have fought harder for the team today. I'm proud of them all."
Caporusso and Walsh will be appearing in the state finals for the fourth time.
"It's unbelievable," said Caporusso, who made a pair of birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 9 when her 100-yard third shot landed two feet from the hole. "I'm just so happy to be a part of it."
The all-stater is especially happy this season because seven months ago she wasn't sure what her status would be following ACL surgery.
"I never thought that I would end up playing most of this season," she said. "So this is really cool and special. I feel lucky to be playing now. I'm looking forward to this state tournament."
Walsh is just as excited.
"It feel awesome to be going again, especially this year," she said. "Knowing all the potential we had this season, it's been hard to stay patient. But we've taken every meet one at a time, and we couldn't be happy with winning the sectional."
Like Caporusso and Walsh, St. Viator's Dana Gattone will also be playing in the state finals for the fourth straight time.
Her score of 76 (4 birdies, 4 bogeys) was second best among individuals from non-qualifying state teams.
"I'm relieved," said the Illinois-bound Gattone. "I'm really excited to go to state again. I had to battle back a couple of times on the front nine.
"Every time I'd get a bogey. I came back with a birdie. I struck the ball well and putted well."
Other area individuals who advanced out of the sectional to state were Libertyville freshman Simone Mikaelian (77), Buffalo Grove freshman Lauren Guiao (78), Stevenson senior Nicole Marquardt (78), Fremd senior Jennifer Kim (79) and Fremd's Dorothy Feng (80), who for the second straight year qualified by winning a playoff.
Feng, Zion-Benton's Morgan Kukla, Buffalo Grove's Amber Guiao and Maine South's Anne Krall all shot 80s to advance to the four-player playoff to decide the tenth individual spot.
The foursome was down to Feng and Krall after one hole and they ended up deciding it after five holes when Feng sank a 6-foot birdie putt that went slightly uphill and then downhill.
Krall dramatically stayed alive on hole No. 2 when she sank a 35-yard pitch from the fringe of a bunker to counter Feng's pitch which had gotten the Vikings' senior to one foot of the hole.
"It was nerve-wracking," said Feng, who also competed in a four-player playoff last season that went two holes with Feng and Elk Grove's Katie DeMeulenaere advancing. "After I shot the 80, I said 'I know it's going to be a playoff.' "
What Feng didn't know is that three others would be in it and it would last five holes with Krall.
"It was never-ending," Feng said. "I was shocked when I was waiting to putt and she made that long chip shot (on No. 2)."
"That was pretty incredible," said Fremd coach Christine Vlaming of the playoff. "Dorothy was very composed. It was great to see her finish so strong under pressure.
"I give credit to all the girls out there today. It was an incredibly tough playing field. Everyone should be proud."