CHICOPEE — For the past 11 years, the Notre Dame Academy girls’ golf team walked off the green as state champions.
On Tuesday, that historic run came to an end thanks to a Wellesley squad that posted an overall score of 363 to win the MIAA state championship by 16 strokes at Chicopee Country Club.
“[Notre Dame coach Dave Gianferante] is an excellent coach,” said Wellesley coach Ken Bateman . “I just happen to think that this year we were lucky enough to kind of edge him out. The past 11 years have been a spectacular run for him and I’m happy that they won those, but I’m also happy that we won this year.”
Freshman Anna Dailey, who would have been a bit young for preschool when Notre Dame’s streak began, led the Raiders with a 13-over-par 84 and was followed by junior Katharine Fortin (86).
Juniors Caroline Kelliher (96) and MacKenzie Grosso (97) filled out the top four for the Raiders — team scores are the combined total of the top four from each school. Kelliher’s 96 was a seven-shot improvement on her score at last week’s South Sectionals in Hingham.
Kelliher said her round could have fallen apart after she went triple-bogey, double-bogey on the par-3 11th and 12th holes. However, some advice she previously received from a long-time playing partner helped her regain focus.
“I just took a breath,” Kelliher said. “My dad tells me a lot that you have to play it one shot at a time and that every shot is an individual event. Remembering that really helped.”
Kelliher recovered to play the next two holes at 1 over.
“Hats off to Wellesley,” said Gianferante. “They did an awesome job. They’ve got a good 1 and 2 and they had two other girls break 100, which was awesome. Kenny does a super job. I couldn’t be any happier for him and his team.”
Hingham finished second with a score of 379 and Wachusett was third (398). Notre Dame, which returned just two varsity golfers from last season, placed fifth (401), losing out on a tiebreaker to Notre Dame (Worcester).
The individual state title went to Dover-Sherborn’s Sophie DiPetrillo, who finished 3 over par. The sophomore finished three strokes ahead of Concord-Carlisle’s Karolyne Shieh, and six ahead of third-place finisher Angela Zhang of Sharon.
DiPetrillo, who plays for Dover-Sherborn in the fall as the No. 1 on the boys’ team, said she knew early that Tuesday would be special.
“Right before I stepped on the first tee box, I was like, ‘I’m going to win this today,’ ” she said.
After carding a 93 in last year’s individual state championship, DiPetrillo — who needed just 27 putts over her 18 holes — said the difference this season is in her mental game.
“Last year as a freshman I got nervous and couldn’t control myself,” she said. “But I started reading books that have really helped me to control my mind when I play. Now I can focus more and block [the distractions] out.”
DiPetrillo, along with 13 other finishers, carded scores of 87 or better to qualify for the New England championship at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H., on June 17.