The Great Neck girls golf team made history Tuesday afternoon.
The squad captured its first-ever Long Island championship, defeating Sayville 453-525 on the Red Course at Eisenhower Park. It was a major moment for the program, which won its first county title last week, and a journey that coach Matt Corrigan said began at the end of last season.
“They really clicked at the end of last year after winning the conference,” Corrigan said. “They played together all summer and then everyone returned. It’s been a lot of hard work, they’re committed to our program and they really push themselves.”
Andrea Zhou led the way for Great Neck, shooting an 11-over 83. The freshman said she was nervous coming into the event, but found her confidence as she went on, shooting a 40 on the front nine, and breathing a little easier as she continued to play well down the stretch.
“After shooting pretty well on the front nine, I wasn’t as scared of shooting too high on the back nine,” Zhou said. “I started shooting better then.”
Zhou added that she was hoping to break 80, but couldn’t bring herself to be too disappointed by her performance. It was, she said, the lowest score she’s ever shot.
“I was still pretty happy,” Zhou said. “It’s been a really good season. I like being on this team, everyone supports each other and we’re really having fun.”
Junior Sophia Gresalfi echoed Zhou’s sentiment, saying that the team genuinely enjoys playing together and credited that sense of camaraderie for their success.
“It’s been so fun because everyone is so excited to win all of these matches,” said Gresalfi, who shot a 99. “Being on a team, having someone to work with you, it’s motivational.”
Hannah Niggemeier led Sayville with a 16-over and both teams will head to the state championship at Deerfield Country Club in Brockport, New York starting Saturday.
For Great Neck, this championship is a win they’ll never forget, a boost of confidence and a marker for any future teams.
“I can’t even put words to it,” Corrigan said. “It’s so special for all of them. I’ve loved watching them grow together and they love competing with each other.”