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Garden City Maroon edges Smithtown West to win LI girls golf championship

Garden City's Sam Sessa tees off at the

Garden City's Sam Sessa tees off at the third hole. (May 28, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The Garden City Maroon girls golf team overcame tough weather conditions Tuesday to edge Smithtown West, 437-439, in the Long Island Championship on the Green course at Bethpage State Park.

Heading into the match, GC Maroon thought it was the underdog because Smithtown West featured two of Suffolk's best players in Victoria Snak and Kaitlin Clancy.

"It feels awesome," senior captain Mackenzie Horl said. "We came in as the underdogs because we knew Smithtown West did really well in their county. It's a great way to end the season. We'll remember it forever."

Garden City junior Samantha Sessa led the way with a 7-over-par 78. Junior Brittany Burke was second with an 83.

Sessa got off to a rough start on the front nine, shooting 7-over 43. But as the rain got started, she got in gear, too, and rebounded with an even-par 35 on the back nine, including a birdie on the par-4 12th hole.

"She's capable of shooting that on just about any day, but the way she did it today was really outstanding," coach Reid Sclafani said. "I'm very, very proud of the way she buckled down and really shot as well as anyone could hope for her to shoot under the conditions."

For Smithtown West, Snak shot 80 and Clancy 82.

After GC Maroon graduated three of the top four golfers from last year's team, it was unclear whether this year's group could continue the team's success.

"It was a new team, so we didn't know how the season would turn out," senior captain Nicole Miesemer said. "I think it was better than we all expected it to be."

Sclafani said freshmen Isabel Klatt and Alana McAndrews also were instrumental to the success of this year's team.

One of the most storied programs in Long Island golf history, Garden City Maroon has won four of the past six Long Island championships, eight straight Nassau titles, 11 straight Conference II titles and 106 straight conference matches.

"The seniors talked about making sure they weren't the ones who went out without winning, because that's all they've known since they've been on the team," Sclafani said. "Girls have started such a good tradition here that they don't want to mess it up. They feel a lot of that pressure, and it's not easy, but it really motivates them to work hard."

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