It's been a remarkable season for Prospect's girls golf team.
Now, the Knights hope for a remarkable finish at the Class AA state girls golf finals at the Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.
They had one just two years ago on the same golf course when they claimed Prospect's first state title in any girls sport.
Last year, they were second, but who knows what would have happened if day two of the state tourney were not washed out by rain?
Prospect has competed in the state finals the last three years, placing fourth in 2010. This weekend, the Knights will be in Decatur with the most experience in any of coach Jim Hamann's nine seasons.
They shot 311 to win the Buffalo Grove sectional and will face 11 opponents who were first, second or third in their sectionals.
The field includes Hinsdale Central (301), Loyola (318), Lyons Township (318), New Trier (321), Crystal Lake Coop (328), Sandburg (329), Naperville North (332), St. Charles North (335), Sacred Heart-Griffin (354), Normal (355) and Edwardsville (375),
Defending state champion New Trier edged Prospect 313-317 (one round) for the crown last year.
With seniors Noreen Caporusso's and Kiley Walsh's four seasons leading the way, the Knights have 22 years of combined varsity experience.
The eight-player roster also includes seniors Ally Scaccia, Emma Menich, Bridget Brasil and Frankie Corrado, along with juniors Isabella Flack and Kacie O'Donnell.
The Knights' full varsity lineup has not lost to any team all season, winning three regular-season invites, every conference dual or tri-meet, the overall conference meet, regional and sectional.
"The amount of experience this team has is incredible," said Prospect coach Jim Hamann.
That experience has led to a record-setting season.
Prospect set a team record for 18 holes (191 in a dual meet with Loyola at the Mt. Prospect Golf Club) and for nine holes (145 in a dual meet with Buffalo Grove at Mt. Prospect).
The individual school record for 18 holes was broken by the Bradley-bound Scaccia. She shot 69 twice (Mt. Prospect and Fox Run Golf Club in Elk Grove).
The Illinois State-bound Walsh fired a 32 on the back nine at Mt. Prospect for the school's 9-hole standard.
The Knights hope their experience playing the Hickory Point layout pays off this weekend.
In addition to their previous three state trips, they've also played the course four times each June and sometimes an extra round in a tournament.
Here's what the Knights veteran seniors are saying about this year's trip to the state finals:
Noreen Caporusso: "It's so exciting and seems so much more real now that we are headed to state. It's awesome that the boys made it downstate too and we got sent off together. We love the course. It sets up perfect for us with everything we believe in and practice. You have to hit greens and I know we will."
Bridget Brasil: "It's crazy going down there again, especially with our guys going downstate, too. We've played the course a ton of times. Like coach Hamann says, after Mt Prospect, this is our second course. We've played it the second-most to our home course."
Kiley Walsh: "It's definitely our second home; We are so ready to play Hickory Hill. I want to wish all the girls playing the best of luck, and I hope everyone plays well because I know Prospect will play its best. While all the trophies and medals are nice, our No. 1 goal is to have more fun than any other team."
Ally Scaccia: "We know the course well. It's definitely my favorite course. There are a lot of holes where you can score really well and there are some holes where you have to play smart. We know the course better than anyone and we are the most prepared team."
Emma Menich: "We played the course lots of times. Personally, it's one of my favorites. It's a lot of fun and I just enjoy playing there. We have been working so hard as a team all year. This is our last chance to put everything into a tournament."
While the Knights are shooting for a state crown, several area players are hoping for high finishes in the individual competition.
St. Viator senior Dana Gattone, Barrington freshman Shivani Majmudar, Barrington freshman Reena Sulkar, Buffalo Grove freshman Lauren Guiao, Fremd senior Jennifer Kim (79) and Fremd senior Dorothy Feng (80) will also play at Hickory Hill.
Gattone is making her fourth straight appearance while Feng is back for the third time and Kim for the second.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.