LAFAYETTE — It wasn’t always pretty, but the Notre Dame girls golf team emerged as the Division II champion at the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA State Golf Championships.
On a windy day at Les Vieux Chenes golf course, juniors Emily Lucas and Cassidy Goff each rebounded from a tough front nine to post outstanding back-nine scores and hang on for a state title.
Notre Dame won the team competition with a 344-359 advantage over Loyola Prep. Catholic-New Iberia was third at 377.
Lucas carded a 3-over 41 on the back nine, and Goff finished even stronger with a 2-over 40. But that was a far cry from their first nine holes.
After finishing the first round with a 15-stroke lead, Notre Dame coach Shane Goff suddenly found himself scrambling to come up with something to stop his team’s free fall.
“I’m a father and a coach,” said Shane Goff, who is also Cassidy Goff’s father, “and I was sitting there on the front nine thinking, ‘What can I do to stop this?’
“They were pretty relaxed before the round, didn’t seem nervous at all, then all of a sudden it’s just one thing after another.”
Lucas and Goff combined to par just three holes on the front nine, and they each had their share of blow-up holes.
Lucas double bogeyed the first and seventh holes on her way to a 9-over 45 on the front nine.
“It was nerve-racking,” Lucas said. “I knew we’d built up a pretty good lead, but I wanted to perform good because I didn’t want to let the team down.”
Goff was having an even tougher go of it. She triple bogeyed the par 5 fourth hole, then carded a 10 on the par 5 eighth.
“It was super stressful. I kept trying to tell myself to keep going, don’t give up, but after a few holes I wanted to give up so bad,” Goff said.
But something clicked for the girls, who were playing in separate groups, when they made the turn.
Shane Goff was working his way between his two players’ groups, telling them they needed to grind out the final nine holes and not worry about their lead.
The 14th hole is where both settled into a groove. Lucas found her ball against the lip of a greenside bunker for her third shot, but she managed to blast it on to the green and sink a 20-foot putt for par.
“I was just trying to get it on the green,” Lucas said. “Things were looking rough for me, so I was just trying to get it out of there and maybe two-putt for a bogey.
“But once I drained it, it gave me momentum and it lifted my spirits.”
Cassidy Goff said she was able to settle down once she got over the mental hurdle of hanging on to the team lead.
“On the front nine, I think that’s what I was worried about, shooting a better score to make sure that we won,” Goff said. “But on the back nine, I put that out of my mind and focused on the strokes, and I got a better result.
Lucas and Goff parred their final five holes, pushing the Pios to the tournament win. Lucas finished in seventh place in the Division II individual standings, and Goff finished right behind her in eighth.
Catholic-New Iberia’s Shrayon Thibodeaux earned a top-10 finish, shooting 86-91 over the two-day tournament.
East Iberville sophomore Julia Johnson won her third consecutive Division II state championship by carding a birdie on three of her final four holes. She was the only golfer in the tournament to shoot a cumulative score below par, with a 1-under 147.
Hammond sophomore Mary Frances Chauvin won the Division I individual title with a 5-over 153.
Sulphur blew away the Division I field, going 160-161 to beat runner-up Barbe by 48 strokes for the state title.