By Matthew Digiacomo
Led by two of the top three individual scores, McDowell all but wrapped up the Region 3 girls golf title by winning mega match No. 3 at The Country Club on Monday.
The Trojans, who won the previous two mega matches as well, fired a team score of 190 for the victory. Host Meadville finished 13 strokes back with a 203, followed by Warren (223) and Strong Vincent (273).
The four points gives McDowell 12 total on the year. Meadville now has nine and could reach 13 with a win in mega match No. 4 at Warren on Sept. 26. The worst McDowell could do, even if they placed fourth at the final mega match, is 13 points. That, however, is highly unlikely.
“We are getting better in certain aspects of the game,” said MASH coach Mike Ditzenberger. “The problem is, McDowell is getting better as well. If we win out and McDowell finishes last we would both end up with 13 points. Realistically that is not going to happen. (McDowell) is too good.”
It was not for lack of effort.
Kailey Malady led the Bulldogs with a 47. MASH’s top golfer, Lacey Latta, did not have her ‘A’ game but still gutted out a solid 48. And Felicia Krasa continued to show improvement with a 52. The Trojans were just better in the end.
“It is any given day,” said Ditzenberger. “The more they play against the kids in the region the more confidence they get in really building their game, which I like. The thing with Lacey today, she was very hard on herself. She hit a couple bad shots, but knew she had to stay in the game.
“She is mentally tough. So is Kailey and Felicia. (The seniors) don’t let their minds get defeated.”
A lot of that is thanks to Megan Kaverman and Ellen Eighmy.
Kaverman, shooting in the No. 2 whole for McDowell, fired a 43 to win medalist honors for the round. Eighmy was almost as good with a 46, third best on the day. Julie Capotis (50) and Lindsey Swanson (51) almost broke 50 as well.
“We beat them last year, so we know we can do it,” said Ditzenberger. “We have come close, but have not broken through. And McDowell is not a team that is going to lay down and let us take anything.”
Despite the 13 stroke difference, Ditzenberger was not disappointed.
The regular season, for the most part, is just the opening act. The Bulldogs are using it to prepare for what will be a very challenging postseason. And the schedule is packed with time to improve before the District 10 team tournament on Oct. 5 and D-10 individual tournament on Oct. 8.
“We have our tournament,” said Ditzenberger. “We have the North East Invitational. We have a couple tri-matches and dual matches. Then our last mega match before we start getting ready for districts.
“From there I just want them to concentrate on their game. If they do that, just worry about what they are doing, they are capable of winning the district title.”
Warren’s Megan Smoulder shot a 45, the second best score of the round.