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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Champions; Women’s golf wins NEIGA Tournament

Lady Rams chip away at history

In the Suffolk University women’s golf team’s first full season, the Cinderella story continued for the Lady Rams as the team took home first place in the woman’s first-ever New England Intercollegiate Golf Association (NEIGA) Tournament.

The Lady Rams, in their second season, have surprised many teams from across the NEIGA as well as many other regions. In the three dual matches the Lady Rams have participated in this season, the team came out on top. Additionally, the team also came in second of 12 teams in the Empire 8 Championship on Oct. 14, falling short to Southern University of New York Cortland.

The Lady Rams not only won, but they handled the championship match on Oct. 22-23 with relative ease, separating themselves from second-place finisher Johnson & Wales University by 22 strokes.

“When we all came into the lounge [after the second day of the tournament], we saw [coach Parker] and he had the biggest smile on his face and we immediately ran up to the scoreboard and saw that we won,” said Chapman in a recent interview with The Journal. “I felt so proud of my team and was excited to hold our plaque.”

Courtesy of Dan McHugh

Head coach Jay Parker was euphoric with the result of the NEIGA championship, admitting that he did not expect the team to be that successful.

“I can’t say that going into the final tournament, I thought we were the favorite,” said Parker in a recent interview with The Suffolk Journal.

All six golfers for the Lady Rams finished within the top 12 spots of the tournament. Freshman Nicole Antonucci led the way for the Lady Rams, scoring a total of 181 strokes between the two days of the tournament, placing her fourth overall. Some other top finishers included junior Mackenzie McGrath with a score of 182, putting her at fifth overall in the tournament and freshman Brooke Champman, scoring a 183.

“To have some of them play their best rounds at the end of the season, it just shows how far they’ve come,” said Parker.

Antonucci, McGrath and Champman were all allocated the individual All-NEIGA award after their outstanding performances. Not only had this been the first time in Suffolk women’s golf history that this feat was achieved, but the first time in Suffolk University’s golf program’s history that this award had been given to any individual.

McGrath said in a recent interview with The Journal that she and her teammates knew they had to perform exceptionally, if the Lady Rams wanted to take home hardware. By winning all-NEIGA along with Antonucci and Champman, McGrath feels the team accomplished that.

Parker said that the accomplishments of the three golfers showed the improvement the Lady Rams had experienced over the course of the fall campaign. Parker went on to explain that the team’s fifth and sixth positioned golfers, Antonucci and McGrath, ended up third and fourth overall in the tournament, noting just how amazing the weekend was for the team.

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Parker has been involved with Suffolk’s athletic department for nearly 20 years. More recently, he was named head coach for the Lady Rams’ golf team when the program began in 2016.

“I don’t think the team would have gotten this far without coach Parker,” said freshman Olivia Spiega in a recent interview with The Journal. “I have to give a lot of credit to his amazing coaching and bringing the team together.”



Although the Lady Rams may have surprised other teams, the golfers expected this outcome.

“Based off of how our prior tournaments went and how we stacked up against the competition, we knew this was ours to win,” said McGrath.

Champman went into detail about how the team stepped up to the plate after holding a smaller lead in the first day of the tournament.

“Going into the second day, we only had an eight stroke lead. We knew that we had to play really well the second day,” said Champman.

Antonucci was confident in the Lady Rams successes from this season and was looking forward to the next season.

“I thought it was amazing that we won the conference,” said Antonucci in a recent interview with The Journal. “I do have higher expectations for next year, because we are so young we will only improve.”

The season never ends for this ambitious squad. Off-season conditioning will begin next week as the Lady Rams prepare for an attempt at defending their NEIGA crown next season.

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About the Contributor
Joe Rice, Former Assistant Sports Editor
As a Staff Writer for The Suffolk Journal, Joe Rice aspires to have his own sports radio show someday. As a junior who is currently seeking a degree in Broadcast Journalism, he devotedly follows the Boston Bruins, but is also always keeping up with the sports realm as a whole. Rice has found a life in the city of Boston and plans to continue his future in journalism there. If you are trying to find him, he is likely the individual in the crowd with a Red Sox cap on, unless he is fresh of a haircut.

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Champions; Women’s golf wins NEIGA Tournament