Violets tee off
As Gretchen Johnson readied to take her first shot on the first day of the New York University women's golf program, she paused and put things into an historic perspective.
"It was pure joy to know you were representing your university, and as pioneers for the program," said Johnson, NYU's senior captain, during the McDaniel College Spring Invitational in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. "Just walking down the first fairway, I had a big smile on my face. I was smiling the whole day."
After NYU announced the addition of women's golf last June, and after using the fall season to ready for the rigors of collegiate golf, the Violets enjoyed every drive, chip and putt in their first-ever tournament last Saturday and Sunday.
Freshman Theresa Apoznanski envisioned these days during her recruitment out of Smithtown (New York) West High School. Although a sense of nervousness gripped her and her teammates on the front nine, they settled in and proved competitive.
"Being out there was just incredible," said Apoznanski, NYU's top finisher whose two-day total of 178 placed her ninth. "It was great to see the whole process come along. Seeing this happen feels good."
Overall, the Violets ranked fifth out of five teams with a team total 759 on the par-72, 5,875-yard course, just one stroke behind McDaniel (758). Johnson (183 score), freshman Joanna Lau (197) and junior Kate McAleer (208) rounded out the scoring foursome. Freshman Jea Min carded a 209.
However, the numbers ended up as merely a footnote on a weekend that will forever be remembered as the first page in the opening chapter of NYU women's golf.
"It was special to be a part of the first competition for our women's program and to see how they took pride in one another and represented New York University," assistant coach Matt Huck said.
Brian Falzarano is assistant director of sports information at New York University.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association