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Allison Pacocha: High school phenom to Division I golfer

Allison Pacocha headshot. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

Coming out of high school and being recognized as one of the best players in the conference or district is quite an honor for any athlete.

Allison Pacocha, a freshman on the Bradley women’s golf team, can attest to just that, as she was named the Peoria Journal Star Golfer of the Year not once, not twice, but three times during her time at Eureka High School.

“It’s pretty special knowing that not a lot of people get that recognition, and I feel honored that they covered me,” Pacocha said.

Living 30 minutes away in Eureka, it’s no surprise that Pacocha reached out to Bradley and head coach Halley Morrell. She did so before they were even in the allowed contact period for recruiting, which was a telling sign of what was to come in the future for the young golf star.

“Allison started emailing me before I was allowed to contact her back, and I was like, ‘Alright, this kid’s pretty good,’ and I waited patiently until I was allowed to contact her,” Morrell said.

“[Between] coach Morrell and the program and the Bradley education, I just couldn’t find anything like it,” Pacocha added.

After having tons of success in high school, Pacocha is already getting to work. With the season kicking off, Morrell and her newest addition to the team have already begun to collaborate on and off the course.

“She’s very coachable,” Morrell said. “She listens really well [to] everything we’ve tried to change and she really works with what I’m trying to tell her and understands the reasons we’re working on a couple of things … she’s just willing to listen and put in the work.”

Having six rounds of golf already under her belt, Pacocha owns a round average of 77.5, which is just over one stroke behind the team lead.

“Her ball-striking without a doubt has been her best part,” Morrell said. “She’s so consistent … I don’t think I’ve seen her miss a fairway by more than a couple feet … she’s been hitting a bunch of green.”

With much of the season still ahead, Pacocha is looking to continue her dominance in this aspect of her game. Still having three more years of eligibility left after her freshman year, Pacocha has some major goals to reach throughout her young career.

“I obviously want to get my stats a little better and lower the average and hopefully get some top 20s and top 10s,” Pacocha said.

Coming off the Redbird Invitational where the team placed eighth out of 15 teams, Pacocha achieved 31st place individually, shooting a 232 over three rounds. With the Johnie Imes Invitational coming up in just a few days, Pacocha aims to continue setting the foundation for a similarly successful college career.

“I’m just wanting to be successful for myself,” Pacocha said. “I don’t feel like I have to prove to other people that I’m here.”

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