After an uncharacteristic performance last week, Valencia Vikings girls’ golf soared back to the top of the Foothill League standings with a win on Thursday at the Oaks Club at Valencia.
The Vikings were led by freshman Kara An, who medaled after shooting an even par of 36 strokes in her first league start as Valencia’s No. 1.
An has stormed onto the scene this season and will be a deciding factor in a potential Valencia league title for coach Robert Waters.
“Even though she is a freshman, Kara has been playing competitively for so long,” Waters wrote in an email. “She does a great job of avoiding outside distractions and is able to really just focus on what is important and staying in the moment. I’m very proud of how she keeps her composure in pressure situations.”
Just behind An was captain Been Yoo (+4) and Jillian Leh, Lauren Silva and Kiara Jang, who all finished with 41 strokes (+5).
West Ranch was again led by sophomore Kathryn Mong with 39 strokes and Kate Yi with 40. Noami Kim (+5) also had a strong outing, keeping the Cats in league contention.
The Cats also got a quality start from Olivia Kim, who has stepped into the lineup during the absence of Ashmita Goel. Olivia and teammate Chloe Busnawi each finished with 46-stroke days.
Canyon’s Sofia Allard also posted solid numbers, finishing the day with 46 swings.
For Saugus, Marianne Meadows led the way with 46 strokes, with Khloe Guerrero just behind at 48 and Kailey Lankford at 49.
Golden Valley’s Bailey Lieberman added a 48-stroke day for the Grizzlies.
It was a quick turnaround for the Vikings after the team’s first outing didn’t go as planned at the Oaks club.
“We definitely had a better mindset going into yesterday’s round,” Waters wrote. “We had a better focus and positive vibes during the warm-up.”
Foothill League teams will just meet for two more matches next week at Sand Canyon Country Club. The teams head into their fifth league match on Wednesday and will have just hours to prepare for the final league match on Thursday.
“Next week will be all about which team can avoid the big miss and manage their mental game the best,” Waters added. “Compete against the golf course, not your opponent. Either way, this will be an exciting finish.”
Foothill League golf tees off in round five on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Sand Canyon.