by Mike Finnerty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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When it comes to girls golf, no team has been more dominant in the Sac-Joaquin Section than the St. Francis Troubadours.
Since 1997, when the section added a playoff competition for girls golf, the Troubadours tallied eight section titles before going to the Masters Tournament format in 2006 where they won every year until Christian Brothers ended the streak last year.
On Monday at the The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, St. Francis was back on top again. With a team score of 415, St. Francis edged Lodi (419) and Pleasant Grove (425) for first place making it six Masters titles in the past seven years for the Troubadours.
Ileana MacDonald led the Troubadours with a score of 76, but it took a team effort to fend off a very good Lodi team, one that finished in second last year as well.
In addition to MacDonald, it was Emily Laskin shooting an 83, Carina Carter and Victoria Vardanega both carding an 85, Tarah Tubes adding 86, and Cheyenne Theis coming in with a 108.
"Last year we barely squeaked in taking that third spot, so it was kind of like a little redemption," said St. Francis coach Cindy Mah-Lyford. "The girls did really great. They talked about being together as a team, but more than any other team this is about all of them contributing. Everyone contributed."
As for Laskin, who along with MacDonald had been a part of the St. Francis team that won the Masters championship in 2010, she believes that team work was the key factor for her team this year.
"Our team is such a great team, we're a family. This year we have all been supporting each other, helping push each other, and I think that has been a big component of our success this year."
The top three teams now advance to the NorCal Regional Playoffs set for November 5 at Brookside Country Club in Stockton.
Despite the win, Coach Mah-Lyford knows her team can play better.
"I think a lot of the girls didn't play as well as they wanted to today, so we're going to go back and work on individual goals and see what we can do. Hopefully we can get to State and do well from there."
In the individual competition, Woodland senior Sara Scarlett was the medalist with a round of 70. Last year Scarlett shot a 76, but this year she had some additional motivation.
"I was just trying to go out there and make birdies," said Scarlett. "I had a little bet with my dad. He said make four birdies, that would be good, I end up making six, so I was happy with myself."
The top four individuals advance to the NorCal Regionals, so joining Scarlett in Stockton next week will be Kelsey Ulep of Whitney (72), Maddie Gedeon of Oakmont (73), and Paige Lee of Granite Bay (74).