Extra Work Helps Pave Way For Perfect Start For Monomoy Girls Golf

by Brad Joyal

FALMOUTH – An undefeated start may be a surprise to some, but not John Anderson.

The longtime Monomoy girls golf coach had an inkling that this year’s team would be a strong one after hearing just how much effort the girls were putting into their craft over the offseason.

Between playing extra rounds during the fall and taking advantage of the indoor simulator at Eastward Ho! Country Club during the winter months, the team’s dedication has paid off in a big way. The Sharks improved to 7-0 on the season after cruising to a 5-1 victory over Falmouth on Thursday at Falmouth Country Club.

“To be honest, I knew we’d have a strong team,” Anderson said. “The girls put in so much work over the winter. They had told me how much they had been practicing together and going to simulators together.”

Led by its trio of senior captains — Ava Packett, Yu Ying Zou and Sally Watson — Monomoy poured itself into preparations for the spring. That has paid off for both the team’s veterans and its newcomers, many of whom are newer to the sport.

Throughout the winter and first part of the season, the underclassmen have proven they are committed to helping the program reach new heights.

“They are definitely all really hard-working,” said Zou, a Harwich resident. “In the winter, we have clinics at Eastward Ho! sponsored by the country club, and it’s really nice because the pro there Andy Walkley and our old coach Jack Farrell help us throughout the wintertime.”

In years past, Monomoy has counted on top-end golfers such as Jennie Grogan or Jen Keim to help lead the team. This year is different. Although the senior captains represent a core of battle-tested leaders, the team prides itself on its depth and ability to win throughout its lineup.

Packett and sophomore Ava Larocco have typically held onto the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the lineup with Zou third, followed by junior Emily Layton, Watson, freshman Georgia Story and juniors Fiona Moore, Megan Richman and Ashley Anderson.

“Our strength is really the depth of the team and that’s how we’ve won,” Anderson said. “We lost some No. 1 and No. 2 matches but our depth one through eight is so deep.”

Some of the players have taken big steps in their development. Anderson said Larocco has proven herself as a top-of-the-lineup player while Layton is coming into her own.

“Ava played number one as a sophomore and that’s pretty amazing,” the coach said. “That’s a big jump. I could see it coming because she puts in so much work and she’s so dedicated. Emily Layton, this is only her second year playing and she’s our No. 4, which is a credit to her.”

It also helps that the girls are pulling for each other to be their best. Whether they are on the course or off, the team shares a bond that helps translate to victories.

“We have a really strong bond and we’re all really close, tight friends,” said Packett, a Harwich resident. “It just kind of helps us to keep uplifting each other. We’re very, very close.”

For the seniors, the team’s biggest goals are still to come. The trio is looking to compete at the Cape and Islands League championships before making a run at the sectional and state championships.

Still, it will be bittersweet to move on from a program they have helped solidify as one of the Cape’s most consistent.

“I think bittersweet is the perfect word for it,” said Watson, a West Harwich resident. “We’ve played together for four or five years now. It’s nice to grow with everyone.”

“No one likes to be a part of a losing team, obviously — it doesn’t feel good,” added Zou. “So I’m glad to be able to leave it as a good team because I have faith the girls that are coming up are going to continue the reputation we have of being a good team. I know they are going to continue it because I’ve seen their work ethic and I’m proud of that.”