Vassar on par for(e) success at league championships

Junior Annie Hsu sends her shot soaring in the Vassar College Invitational on April 8. With two invitationals under its belt, Vassar will head into the Liberty League Championships on April 22. / Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

As spring competition has picked up in recent weeks, the Vassar women’s golf team has competed in two invitationals: the Vassar College Invitational on April 8 and 9 and the Jack Leaman Invitational on April 15 and 16. These were the team’s last two competitions on the schedule before the Liberty League Championships, which begin on April 22.

The Brewers started off strong on the first day of the Vassar College Invitational. Freshman Andrea Han led not only the Brewers, but all of the competitors, tying for the lead with women from Ithaca College and Amherst College. Han took advantage of the par fours and fives, scoring just one-over on each. She solidified her lead by firing 10 pars and two birdies, finishing the day with a four-over 76.

Junior Annie Hsu joined Han on the leaderboard on Saturday, earning 12th place after the first round by posting an 82. Like Han, Hsu performed well on the par fives, shooting six over par with two birdies.

Freshman Qiwen Tan, senior Emily Prince and sophomore Evon Shay finished out the first day behind Han and Hsu, posting a 90, 93 and 94, respectively. The Brewers finished the day as a whole in sixth place out of 12 teams. Mount Holyoke College was tied with them for sixth, both teams posting a 341 (+53).

On the second day of the invitational, the Brewers finished only two strokes off of their 341 from the previous day. Shooting a 343 put the team in seventh place, with a final score of 684, as the competition came to a close. Williams College came in first, with New York University coming in closely behind.

Han lost her lead on Sunday, coming in tied for seventh place as some of her competition was able to catch up to her.

“It was exciting to be tied for first after the first round of the Vassar College Invitational, but I did feel some pressure going into the second round because I really wanted to play well since it was our home tournament,” noted Han. “I was disappointed with my performance on the second day, but it’s okay! There’s always next year!”

Tan shot an 81 on day two, nine strokes better than her score from day one, allowing her to finish tied for 29th. Meanwhile, Hsu tied for 35th with a 174, Shay finished in 48th place with a 181 and Prince came in 55th with a 186.

Associate Head Coach Anna Ausanio was pleased with the team’s performance at the Vassar College Invitational, especially because it was the squad’s first competition since March.

“We had a great home Invitational. Our freshman Andrea had a solid two day score shooting her career low of a 76 on day one,” said Coach Ausanio. “The girls didn’t have much practice leading up to the event due to the weeks’ worth of rain. I feel that it was a good start to the season and they knew what to work on going into the next week’s practice.”

The next weekend, the Brewers traveled to Amherst, MA for the Jack Leaman Invitational. The team headed into the Vassar College Invitational with the goal of placing within the first half of the field and just barely lost sixth place, so the women hoped to accomplish that goal this time around. Despite coming in eighth overall, the team was still proud of its performance.

“We were seven out of 12 for our invitational, losing the sixth place spot by only one stroke. That really motivated us to try hard for the Amherst tournament,” commented Hsu, who led the Brewers with a score of 86 on the first day. “Even though we didn’t place in the first half either for the second tournament, we were able to count four scores in the 80’s for both days, with the second day as one of our best team scores this year.”

As in the previous invitational, the Brewers were right behind Mount Holyoke College, who came in fifth on Saturday of the Jack Leaman invitational. Hsu finished 26th with a 14-over 86, while Han fired an 87. Prince and Tan tied for 35th, each with an 88, and Shay posted a 92.

The team finished the second day of the invitational with a score of 684, just seven strokes behind the women’s team-best score of 677, which the squad earned at the Mount Holyoke Invitational in the fall. New York University took the victory in the end, posting a team score of 610. Although Vassar fell from seventh to eighth place on the second day, four of the Brewers fired better scores on day two than they did on day one. The squad trailed Wellesley by only one stroke.

“We were happy to see most of our scores were in the 80s but it was frustrating how we lost to Wellesley by one stroke,” said Han. “But we are definitely looking forward to playing this weekend at Liberty Leagues!”

The Liberty League Championships will be the next and last competition for the Brewers this season. They are looking to grow upon what they have learned from the past two invitationals and to capitalize on their final week of practice to have the best performance possible.

“We will continue to work on our chipping and putting along with our approach shots to the green. We have one week of practice left to give it our all and make sure we are ready for the Liberty League Championships,” said Coach Ausanio. “I saw a lot of great shots during the past two weekends and I am hoping we can continue that play into this weekend and come in with two days in the low 330s as a team.”

The Brewers will compete in the Liberty League Championships on April 22 and 23 on the Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern, NY.

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