SUTTON — Gabrielle Shieh clutching an MIAA championship trophy on the putting green at Pleasant Valley Country Club was not a surprise. The Concord-Carlisle junior now owns a pair of state titles, along with a runner-up finish a year ago.
Sandwich, however, is a far different story. In their first spring as a varsity program, the Blue Knights (370) edged Duxbury (382) and defending champion Notre Dame Academy-Hingham (390) to capture team honors Monday afternoon.
“[The title is] completely unexpected,” said Sandwich coach Bob Travers, the golf pro at the Ridge Club in Sandwich who also coaches the boys’ junior varsity team. “I still haven’t figured out how I feel. It’s still sinking in.”
After several seasons as a club team, Sandwich obtained varsity status this spring. Lack of experience was not an issue.
Captain Emily Hunt is a four-year veteran of the Sandwich boys’ team, which placed fifth in the MIAA Division 2 championship last fall. Kristina Thimme and Bridget Lopes were also two-year players in the fall.
Travers has known five of his six state-qualifying players for a while — they have taken lessons or worked at the Ridge Club.
“This has been my favorite group of kids that I’ve coached, state championship or not,” said Travers, in his fifth season at Sandwich after a 12-year run at Newton South.
“They were just a lot of fun, easy-going, and they take good care of each other.”
Eighth grader Emma Abramson (90) paced Sandwich. Lopes and Thimme carded 92s, and Hunt was at 96.
“It means a lot to the school, never mind to us,” said Hunt, who will golf at Merrimack next year.
“This kind of proves that this program is up and coming, and is on the rise in the future. We want to recruit more girls, and hopefully this will push people to play more towards it.”
Shieh, the North/Central/West sectional co-champ, shot a 1-over-par 74 to top Westford’s Morgan Smith (75), Lunenburg’s Emily Nash (76), and Agawam’s Angela Garvin (76) — with whom she shared a sectional win — to reclaim the title she won as a freshman in 2017.
“It means a lot to me,” Shieh said. “Doing it at sectionals is one thing, but doing it at states, where it’s the big stage, and winning, I’m really happy. I’m really proud of how I played today.”
Despite strong wind gusts, the weather was superior to what Shieh and the other qualifiers faced at a rainy North/Central/West sectional in Greenfield last week.
“This course is pretty tricky,” Shieh said. “You have to know where to place the ball, which I think is something that helped out for me. I was able to place it in the right spots and make those pars and birdies.”
A putt for birdie on the 10th hole was “where the round turned around” for Shieh, who admitted to struggling through the front nine.
Hopkinton senior Abby Jaye, who won the South sectional last week, finished in a five-way tie for eighth place at 9-over. The top 12 golfers qualified to represent Massachusetts at the New England Interscholastic Golf Championship at Bretwood Golf Course in Keene, N.H., on June 19.
MIAA Girls’ Championship
at Pleasant Valley Country Club
1. Sandwich, 370; 2. Duxbury, 382; 3. Westborough, 386; 4. Notre Dame (Hingham), 390; 5. Wellesley, 402; 6. Ursuline, 433.
74 — Gabby Shieh, Concord-Carlisle (Par 73).
75 — Morgan Smith, Westford.
76 — Emily Nash, Lunenburg; Angela Garvin, Agawam.
78 — Ellie Parkerson, Boston Latin.
80 — Jennie Grogan, Monomoy.
81 — Kaitlynn Washburn, Scituate.
82 — Margot Osterman, Notre Dame (Hingham); Sufuna Noorwez, Shrewsbury; Jacquelyn Stiles, Groton-Dunstable; Abby Jaye, Hopkinton; Haley Lee-Burke, Westborough.
83 — Alia Godek, Agawam; MacKenzie Murphy, Haverhill.
84 — Christine Mandile, Winchester.