The Bradley womens golf team opened its season this past Sunday and Monday in Normal, Ill., at the Redbird Invitational. The Braves finished second in the 12-team field with a score of 915, just one stroke behind winner Northern Illinois University. Head coach Mary Swanson was happy with how here team looked in their opening tournament, however disappointed at the second place finish.
Swanson said she was pleased with the way her team looked at the par-72 Weibring Golf Club.
Overall, its exciting to come out and shoot some decent rounds and contend in your first event, Swanson said. Obviously, we would have loved to win, but I think losing just keeps us focused on getting better and keeps our players hungry to continue to up their game.
The Braves were led by senior Ally Scaccia who began her final season on the Hilltop with a bang. Scaccia claimed medalist honors at the Innovational with a one-under 215, five shots ahead of the second-place finisher. The senior was named Missouri Valley Conference golfer of the week for her efforts.
Bradley jumped out to a five-shot advantage after the first day of thanks to a pair of one-under par 71s from Scaccia. Junior Frankie Saban added rounds of 78 and 76 and sophomore Taylor Ledwein carded scored of 77 and 78.
After the opening round success, the Braves took their foot off the gas pedal. Bradley carded a final 307 Monday to finish one shot behind Northern Illinois, which shot 299 in the third round to finish at 914.
In addition to Scaccias first place finish, Ledwein and Saban both finished in the top 20 with the duo tying for 18th overall at 233.
According to Swanson, the team gave this one away.
It was a definite disappointment, we kind of handed it to them, Swanson said. I think we could look back at some of our rounds and find some shots and puts here and there. With it being only one shot, thats kind of a heartbreaker. Were moving forward though and are focused on the future. Our players have already responded really well in practice this week as they train for our next event.
Swanson said Scaccia will continue to lead the team both on and off the course.
Ally has just been a great leader since shes stepped on campus, Swanson said. She is constantly pushing herself and her teammates to keep improving. Im really proud of her to get started on a high note, and shes been tremendously focused. Shes invaluable, and well enjoy every minute of having her around, but with that being said, were going to stay in the moment.
Bradley returns to action next Monday and Tuesday at the Cardinal Classic in Yorktown, Ind.