When it comes to Patriot League championships, Angelina Crovo, Maddie Edmonds, and Allison Matthews have only known winning.
But the senior captains of the Duxbury girls’ golf team aren’t satisfied.
After their third straight league title last season, the Dragons finished second at sectionals and fourth at states. Back for more this year, they are 4-0 on the season with their biggest matches — a slate of league opponents and meetings against defending state champion Notre Dame Academy and runner-up Barnstable — yet to come.
“This is probably the best girls’ team I’ve had in my 10 years of coaching them,” said Jack Stoddard.
Here are five things to know about Duxbury girls’ golf:
Full depth chart
The Dragons’ captains have posted impressive records over the past three years, and their success on the fairways will only continue. Crovo (10-0 as a freshman, 4-4 as a sophomore, 9-5 as a junior) will play at Westfield State next year, and Matthews (6-0, 5-0, 12-2) will continue her career at Assumption College. Edmonds, who recently decided to attend Fairfield University, said her future in the sport is open for discussion, and she will make the decision as this season comes to a close.
This talent at the top, combined with the additions of freshmen Charlotte McCallum and Tierney Regan, who have played competitively since they were young children, and the development of returners Lily Watts and Bella Crovo (Angelina’s sister), Duxbury golfers find themselves scrambling to earn a spot in a stacked lineup.
“In the past, I’ve noticed that our top six players tend to be really strong,” Matthews said. “As you go down, it always tapers off, and that happens on every single team. But [the entire lineup] and our JV girls can always compete at a higher level. It’s something I’ve never seen on the team before.”
Sure, the Dragons’ 2018 campaign was one to remember. In fact, at last year’s state final, they checked one item off their to-do list.
“Our goal was to not come in sixth [at states],” Matthews said. “We’ve been in sixth for three years, so getting fourth was a huge accomplishment.”
But the captains think that, especially with the roster they have assembled this year, Duxbury girls’ golf is capable of more.
“We had a good team [last year], but I don’t think everyone had the confidence that we could win,” Edmonds said. “This year, it’s just different. Everyone wants to win.”
Even after a lengthy season, the Dragons didn’t wait to break out their clubs again. Edmonds took the lead on organizing workouts during the summer, fall, and winter, encouraging girls to play on their own and together at Harmon Golf Club’s indoor/outdoor facility in Rockland.
“We would play the course even when it wasn’t open, or it was snowing,” Edmonds said. “We would play whenever.”
In addition to physical practice, the offseason was also spent shaping the team’s mind-set for the spring.
“We talked about states in the summer and tried to build that idea into the team,” Edmonds said. “Once the goal is stated, everyone knows what we’re working toward.”
Matthews acknowledges that golf might not be the most exciting sport. Winning is important to the Dragons, but so is creating an environment where a love of the game is cultivated on the course.
Upperclassmen are assigned to groups of younger golfers and will drive them to and from practice every week. Team dinners and trips to the beach for pizza are regular occurrences after the team packs up its bags.
“It’s really important to make sure everyone feels comfortable and included,” Angelina Crovo said.
Mentorship is key to the Dragons’ success. Older golfers will also mingle around in practice with different newcomers in order to create a lasting relationship.
Matthews felt the effects of these relationships first-hand — she said she would not be playing the sport in college if she did not have such a supportive environment through her high school career.
“When you have somebody who is older than you and enjoys what they’re doing and shows you how you can enjoy it too, it really affects you and it pushes you to want to do better,” she said. “It’s important to instill a joy and a wanting to be there. I’ve never had a day where I’ve dreaded going to practice, and I want the other girls to feel the same way.”
Making a name
With just 38 teams competing across two divisions, girls’ golf is not the most visible sport on the MIAA’s spring program. But the Duxbury team believes it is in the midst of something special.
“It feels really good to be a part of a team, to have an impact on something and help a team actually reach these goals,” Angelina Crovo said. “We don’t hear a lot about girls’ golf, but people actually start to notice. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we’ve been on a team that can win. I feel really strongly that this team is going to continue to win.”
Jenna Ciccotelli can be reached at email@example.com.