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Stephanie Kinalis surprised St. Anthony's girls golf came together

The St. Anthony's girls golf team, which expected to be competitive, but not great, had a 1-3-2 record in the middle of April.

"If you told me then, in April, that we would be in the final I would have said definitely not," senior captain Stephanie Kinalis said.

What about if it could actually win the championship?

"I would've said, no, you're crazy," Kinalis said.

Irrationality was defeated by teamwork in May. Julianne Buff, a junior who coach Yvette Davis refers to as the team's top player, shot a 7-over 37 on the front nine at Cantiague Park as St. Anthony's (11-3-2) beat Kellenberg, 4-1, Thursday to claim the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA team championship.

Stephanie Browne, who Davis called "another bright and talented player," shot a seven-over 37 at Cantiague Park Wednesday as No. 4 St. Anthony's upset No. 1 Holy Trinity, 3.5-1.5, in a CHSAA semifinal.

The individual championships take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Eisenhower Park.

"This championship is special because no one expected us to win especially with the horrible start we had, we were the underdogs," Kinalis said. "We have good players, but no real superstar so we just had to come together. When I walked off the course and my teammates told me they had won and we had won the whole thing, it was still processing in my mind, like, I couldn't believe this."

St. Anthony's last won the girls golf title in 2011, when Kinalis was a freshman. That championship, Kinalis and Davis said, didn't surprise many. Yet this season, Davis referred to the team as "incredible" and "special."

"I was very impressed with the all of the girls' efforts and believe that their genuine support for each other played a critical role," Davis said. "This is definitely a special team that will continue to succeed because of their high energy and consistent pace that they keep throughout the game."

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