Ally Scaccia had no intentions of playing golf when she started her first day of high school. At first, her goal was to play for the volleyball team, but thanks to her sister playing on the golf team and “being short,” she made an attempt at golf.
Scaccia, a junior on the women’s golf team, started playing golf during her freshman year at Prospect High School in Arlington Heights, where she admitted to being “really bad.” Despite the early struggles, she had a lot of support to keep her focused on getting better.
“My high school coach was very invested in us, and we were really fortunate to have him kind of coach us through,” Scaccia said. “My swing coach had a big part of it, too. But my parents and family were super supportive. They got excited whenever I did well.”
With a great support group, Scaccia helped Prospect to a state championship during her sophomore and senior years. From there, she was recruited by head coach Mary Swanson to join the Bradley golf team.
“Her length off the tee was really impressive,” Swanson said. “What stood out to me moreso was also just who she was as a person … I knew she would be a good fit and just someone who could help us continue to move in the right direction.”
Scaccia visited other schools in the Missouri Valley Conference but chose to continue her career on the Hilltop because she said she felt most comfortable here.
“One of my old teammates [at Bradley] went to my high school as well,” Scaccia said. “I stayed with her, which was helpful to have someone I already knew … And I just really like this school. I fell in love with everything about it, academic-wise and both coaching and all the resources we have in the athletic department.”
Scaccia has made a big impact on the program over the years, not just within the actual game of golf, but also with building team camaraderie.
“She’s very unselfish,” Swanson said. “She still takes care of herself and works hard at her game, but she truly cares about her teammates … not just for herself, but for them and to help them get better.”
In Scaccia’s three years here, she’s racked up 67 rounds in the 70s out of 91. This year, Scaccia has posted 26 rounds in the 70s while finishing in the top-10 four times. She said she owes that to the work she’s put in around the greens.
“I’m still not the best putter I can be, but my putting has got a lot more consistent with my short putts,” Scaccia said. “My strength is my driver and irons, and [my] short game is kind of on the back burner I guess. But, I definitely have worked really hard on my short game, so I have seen that pay off with my wedge shots.”
Scaccia said she has turned her attention to the Missouri Valley Conference Championships now. Scaccia finished in sixth last year individually, but even with the great performance, she said she’s still focused on playing well for her team.
“Just try and find a way, no matter how I’m playing, just find a way to get my score to count for the team and get it as low as I possibly can,” Scaccia said. “No matter if I’m playing bad, I just need to find my way to shoot better for the team and coach.”