Lady Leafs’ goal is a trophy
The Lady Leafs girls’ golf team has their eyes set on making school history.
After Geneseo finished the state tournament with the school’s lowest team score ever, the Lady Leafs have raised the bar even higher for the team this season.
“I feel very confident this group of girls can bring home a state trophy,” Geneseo Coach Jon Murray said. “They have to qualify, but I think it will be a different feeling having been there as far as their confidence level. I think it will be a completely different feeling for the better.”
Geneseo finished ninth at state last season, and the Lady Leafs have finished in the top 10 at state six times in school history.
However, Geneseo has never brought home a state trophy for finishing among the top three teams in the state.
Geneseo nearly earned a state trophy in 1984 when they finished fourth.
The Leafs proved they were capable of big things last season, finishing third at sectionals with a 336 team score.
If Geneseo would have been able to repeat that score it would have tied them for third place at the state tournament.
What gives Murray such confidence is having four of the top six players returning including ace Jenna Cheek.
During her junior year, Cheek earned medalist honors in nearly every tournament and dual last season, and Murray believes she can bring home an individual top 10 medal from state this season.
A two-year varsity player, GHS’ Elizabeth Roodhouse returns following a strong run during championship season (92 at state, 91 at sectionals).
Eryn Murray finished 14th at sectionals with an 84 as a sophomore last season, and Emma Snell finished fifth with a 92 at regionals.
With a solid top four returning, Geneseo will need two newcomers who can provide consistency and depth after losing Lauren Murray, Carson Dodge and Heather Dietrich to graduation.
Coach Murray believes the regular season meets will help mold the bottom of the roster as it has done in the past.
Last season, Dodge raised her game to help give the Lady Leafs invaluable consistency as the fifth or sixth varsity player.
Murray thought of Amber Dauksas from the 2015 team who had a personal best at the state with an 86.
“If these girls can do that, who knows what they can do,” Murray said. “As the season goes on, you start to fall into your rhythm.
If you can fall into your rhythm, at the right time, on the right day, boom something amazing can happen.”
The Lady Leafs have won eight consecutive NIB 12 titles, but in the past decade, Geneseo has become a force at the regional level winning five regional titles since 2007.
“The firepower this year is better than ever,” Murray said.
The Lady Leafs opened the season with a dominating victory over Rockridge and St. Bede at Geneseo Country Club on Aug. 13.
The Lady Leafs scrambled for a team score of 175 to defeat runner-up Rockridge (216) by 41 strokes with St. Bede finishing third with a 217 team score.
The Geneseo JV team put together a winning team score finishing with 212.
The Lady Leafs’ Jenna Cheek earned medalist honors with a 39, and Eryn Murray wasn’t far back with a 41.
Elizabeth Roodhouse fired a 45, and Emma Snell finished with a 50.
Paige Laingen carded a 53, and Rachel Vondra finished with a 62.
Leading the Lady Leafs’ JV scores was Miranda Roemer with a 51.
Geneseo’s Jenah Hart and Hannah Mays each fired a 53, and Eleni Andrios and Keeley Nguyen each finished with a 55.
Jordan VanHoutte tacked on a 61, and Audrey Toone finished with a 62.
The Lady Leafs’ Elizabeth Maciejewski added a 64, and Sarah Sebastian finished with a 63.
Avery Spranger carded a 65, Madison Kensinger shot a 73 and Tricia Elden finished with a 77.
The Lady Leafs first tournament will be at the Rock Falls Invite at Rock River Country Club, in Rock Falls, on Aug. 18.
Lady Leafs' golf schedule
Aug. 13 Geneseo Triangular Geneseo Country Club 4 p.m.
Aug. 14 Metamora Golf Classic Metamora Field Golf Course 1 p.m.
Aug. 18 Rock Falls Invite Rock River Country Club, Rock Falls 8 a.m.
Aug. 20 Rockridge at Geneseo Geneseo Country Club 4 p.m.
Aug. 28 Prophetstown Triangular Deer Valley Country Club 4 p.m.
Sept. 4 Rock Island Triangular Saukie Golf Course, Rock Island 4 p.m.
Sept. 5 Orion at Geneseo Geneseo Country Club 4 p.m.
Sept. 10 Galesburg Triangular Lake Bracken Golf Course, Galesburg 4 p.m.
Sept. 12 Rock Island Triangular Saukie Golf Course, Rock Island 4 p.m.
Sept. 15 Geneseo Invitational Sugar Maple Golf Club 8 a.m.
Sept. 17 Erie Triangular Erie Golf Club 4 p.m.
Sept. 18 L-P at GHS (Senior Night) Geneseo Country Club 4 p.m.
Sept. 22 Galesburg Invite Bunker Links, Galesburg 8 a.m.
Sept. 25 NIB 12 Conference Fairways Golf Course, Rochelle 9 a.m.
Sept. 27 Moline Triangular Oakwood Country Club 4 p.m.
Lady Leafs’ roster
Coach: Jon Murray.
Assistant Coach: Allison Farrell.