In the first tournament of the fall season, the women’s golf team continued its dominance of the Ivy League by winning the Dartmouth Invitational.
The Bulldogs finished first out of 15 teams at the two-day tournament in Hanover, N.H. Five Eli golfers finished in the top 16, helping Yale edge second-place Princeton by 3 strokes.
Yale finished with a strong score of 606, 14-over-par, while Princeton finished at 17-over-par. The competition dropped off after that, with Brown finishing a distant third with a score of 34-over-par.
In Saturday’s first round, the Bulldogs shot a school record 299, but found themselves still tied with the Tigers. With a solid team score of 307 on Sunday, Yale pulled out the victory over a Princeton squad that figures to be its toughest competition in the Ivy League this year.
“We were really excited to beat Princeton because they are our biggest rivals,” Stephanie Wei ’05, who finished tied for second at the Ivy championships last spring.
Wei contributed enormously over the weekend, earning her first college win by shooting the top score in the tournament. Her 1-under-par 147 was one stroke better than Princeton’s Avery Kiser and Boston College’s Elizabeth Friel’s scores of 148.
Jeehae Lee ’06 and Lauren Ressler ’06, playing in their first collegiate tournament, made an immediate impact, finishing with two of the 10 best scores of the weekend.
“Everyone is really excited to have the talent that we have,” Ressler said. “Definitely winning the Ivies and going back to Regionals in everyone’s mind.
January Romero ’06, and Yale captain and 2001 All-Ivy selection Jordanna Davis ’03, rounded out the Yale top five, with identical scores of 158.
“The freshmen were awesome,” Wei said, “Normally freshmen are pretty nervous and uptight, but they really stepped it up and stayed very collected.”
With the help of strong returning veterans and young talent, the Bulldogs demonstrated their ability to pick up this season right where they left off last year. Despite the loss of their four-time All-Ivy selection and captain Sarah Seo ’02, as well as two other top performers, the team came out last weekend on top of its game.
“Everyone had great moments; we could still shoot better, but for it being the first tournament when everyone is a little rusty, we did well.” Wei said.
The Bulldogs won the Ivy League title last season, their third in four years. The team competed at the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge, La., a tournament it hopes to return to this season.
After this weekend, things are looking up for the Yale woman’s team. Not only did they win the tournament, Wei also added that the team has great chemistry and good dynamics this year. The relaxed atmosphere starts with captain Davis’ jokes.
“We are always laughing,” Wei said. “She’s in the Just Add Water comedy group, so we’re constantly laughing and cracking jokes. Everyone is very fun and enthusiastic about golf.”
The Bulldogs hope their enthusiasm and outstanding play continues this weekend, when they try to defend their home course in the Yale Invitational.