Sarah Hansen, Gettysburg
STEVENS, Pa. - Can anyone derail the Gettysburg express?
The Bullets have won six consecutive Centennial Conference women's golf championships and are poised to extend their streak to seven as the 17th annual championship begins Saturday at Foxchase Golf Club.
Since winning its first two titles in 2011 and 2012 by two shots over McDaniel, Gettysburg has won by 24, 42, 30 and 33 shotsm respectively. And with the return of the last two Conference individual champions in senior Sarah Hansen (Cumberland, Maine) and junior Samantha Sessa (Garden City, N.Y.), there is little reason to believe that the Orange and Blue will not repeat.
Sessa was the 2015 champion, firing a 80-77-157 at Blue Ridge. She placed third a season ago with an 85-81-166. Sessa leads the Conference with an 80.71 stroke average over seven rounds, winning three times in six events.
Hansen is the defending champion after carding an 82-80-162 over the par-72 Foxchase layout a year ago. She also earned first-team All-Centennial honors the previous season after finishing fifth at Blue Ridge CC. Hansen is second in the CC in stroke average at 82.00 and has a pair of individual crowns to her credit this season. The pair look to become just the 10th and 11th players to earn All-Centennial honors (finishing in the top five) three times.
A trio of Bullet freshmen are 3-4-5 in the Conference in stroke average - Skylar Frankiewicz (Concord, Mass., 82.50), Katie McCarthy (Westlake, Ohio, 83.36) and Hannah Fireman (Ambler, Pa., 83.46). The quintet has led Gettysburg to a 335.73 team average that is on pace to shatter the Centennial single-season mark of 346.06 set last year by the Bullets.
Three other All-Centennial players return from 2016. Muhlenberg sophomore Aine Filler (Moorestown, N.J.), who finished second last spring, has the top non-Gettysburg average at 84.00 and has two wins in her six events in 2017. McDaniel junior Janine Borrelli (Rockville, Md.) placed fourth last season, while senior Casey Marson (Norwich, N.Y.) captured fifth. Dickinson senior Stephanie Heiring (Wayzata, Minn.) earned All-CC recognition as a freshman with a fifth-place finish.
Muhlenberg is best positioned to challenge Gettysburg should the Bullets falter. In addition to Filler, freshman Kat Hodges (The Woodlands, Texas) and junior Maria Horvath (Tampa, Fla.) are both averaging under 90 strokes per round as the Mules average 355.29. Ursinus (364.57) is led by sophomore Rebecca Chiger (Elkins Park, Pa.), while McDaniel (367.27) freshman Meg Schlesinger (Frederick, Md.) and Franklin & Marshall freshman Anelise Browne (Westport, Conn.) could also challenge for All-Conference honors. Keep an eye on Susquehanna freshman Michelle Davidson (Paramus, N.J.) who could also surprise.
The 36-hole event begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday and concludes on Sunday.
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