Emma Schotsch, an SCH sophomore, sizes up a putt on her final hole in the Blue Devils’ first match of the season. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

It was a pretty good day for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s opening golf match. There were sunny conditions on the Blue Devils’ home course at Sunnybrook Golf Club, and it could’ve been considered warm were it not for some fairly stiff breezes that swept across the circuit.

When the first scores started to come in SCH enjoyed the upper hand, but later the Academy of Notre Dame overtook the Blue Devils, and the Irish came away with a 252-265 victory. This score was much closer than many Springside Chestnut Hill has had in the past against the Irish, however, who sometimes would win by several dozen strokes.

Notre Dame came in with a tad more experience, having opened the 2019 campaign with a victory over Baldwin School the previous day.

This year, the lineup for SCH includes an eighth-grader, and the lone senior on the team is Kara Kniezewski, a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

SCH eighth-grader Isabella DeCesare stirs up some sand as she digs her way out of a bunker alongside the ninth green. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

For last week’s season opener Kniezewski fired a 44 and her partner in the first foursome, sophomore Emma Schotsch, scored a 45, producing a combined total of 89 on the par-36 front nine at Sunnybrook. The Notre Dame members of this quartet carded a combined 105, but later on the Irish were able to discard a score of 58 while including sophomore Stefanie Bonini’s 47 in their team tally (the top five scores are counted).

Within the next two foursomes, SCH had freshman Katie Filshill come in with a 60, while sophomore Anne Harrower, freshman Eliza Russell, and eighth-grader Isabella DeCesare each arrived at the clubhouse with a score of 61. In the final count, the Blue Devils would use Filshill’s score and one of those three 61’s.

Within these same two groupings, Notre Dame picked up a 50 from senior Katie Lennon, a 53 from her classmate Sarah Doddos, and a 55 from junior Paige Gerardi. The Irish would be able to exclude a score of 61.

Each school would count one of the two scores its players produced in the final foursome. Freshman Tess Fairlie turned in a 55 for Springside Chestnut Hill, and sophomore Heather Styslinger reinforced Notre Dame’s lead with a 47.

UPDATE – The following day Kniezewski shot a 42 at Gulph Mills golf club, although as a team the Blue Devils bowed to host Agnes Irwin.