It is hard to concentrate in the middle of torrential winds, let alone putt. But the women’s golf team was able to weather the storm and maintain their cool this past weekend at the Third Annual Hoya Invitational.

After rain drowned out the first day of play on Saturday, the Bulldogs overcame rough conditions to win the tournament.

“We were really proud of our performance considering the extremely difficult conditions,” Jessica Shapiro ’06 said. “As a team, we all stayed focused and tried to be as optimistic as possible on the course.”

Yale finished the one-round tournament with a team total of 322 — 13 shots ahead of second-place Princeton in the 14-team competition. The Bulldogs topped the individual rankings as well. Cindy Shin ’07 ran away from the 73-player field with a score of 76, earning first place. January Romero ’06 followed suit with an 80, good for a four-way tie for second. Ellie Brophy was Yale’s third golfer in the top ten, placing ninth with an 83.

On a team dominated by juniors, Shin has continued to improve over the course of the season, placing higher each tournament. Shin’s steady progression culminated in her excellent play this past weekend.

Shin attributed her solid play to her ability to keep her composure despite the rough weather.

“The weather conditions were very harsh and it made the competition hard,” she said. “In these situations the key is how calm [you are]. Shots will be tough, so it is important to control your temper.”

For the second consecutive tournament, the Bulldogs were able to fend off threatening weather and finish in first. Two weeks ago, Yale won the Snowbird Invitational in a Tampa rainstorm. At the Hoya Invitational, the Bulldogs shot through 40 to 50 mile-per-hour winds in 31 degree windchill.

Shapiro said that to perform so well in such conditions was a surprise.

“At the beginning of the day, players were predicting that the winning score would be around 330 or even 340,” Shapiro said. “So we were extremely excited to put together a 322.”

The Bulldogs now have reason to be optimistic going into the Ivy League Championships two weeks from now. First, Yale’s 13-shot win over second place Princeton was impressive considering that the Tigers are the defending Ivy League champs and will be the Bulldogs’ toughest competition at the championships.

More importantly, the championship is being held at Maidstone Country Club in New York, known for its strong winds and cold currents. Shin said surviving the weather this past weekend will prepare them well for the championships.

“Supposedly the conditions are going to be similar to those we faced this weekend,” Shin said. “We see this as a practice round for the championships.”