By Nelson Coffin
Garrison Forest’s No. 1 player, senior Megan Lansman, said that she and her teammates were not about to take Mercy lightly in their B Conference match Monday afternoon at Green Spring Valley Golf Course in Owings Mills.
Yes, the unbeaten Grizzlies won the match, 3-0, but knowing the vagaries of the sport, Lansman said nothing is a given.
“We don’t treat any team differently,” said Lansman, who paired with junior Juliana Tabler (No. 2) to top Mercy senior captain Morgan Blanchard (No. 1) and freshman Erin Smearman (No. 2) in five holes. “Anybody can have an off day.”
Speaking of which, Lansman said that her drives were not where she wanted them to be, despite the convincing victory.
“Sometimes it just gets in your head,” she said. “But that’s when I talk to my partner. We calm each other down.”
Mercy, which has yet to win this spring, did have at least one highlight in the match.
It came when the lefty Smearman dropped an 18-yard putt into the cup on the fourth hole.
Mercy coach Rich Marion, filling in for his son Matt, knew that beating the Grizzlies would be a daunting undertaking for a team that doesn’t have much experience and was also shorthanded when one player did not show up and another, sophomore Kaitlyn Le Compte-Roy (No. 5), had to withdraw because of an ankle injury sustained running a 10K.
Considering that she only started to play the sport last spring, Le Compte-Roy knew that competing against more seasoned rivals like the Grizlies would be extremely difficult at best.
Still, she said she hit a 25-foot chip to within a foot of the hole on her best shot of the afternoon, even though the Magic did not win the hole.
“I just told myself before the match, ‘If I lose, I lose. If I win, great’ “ she said. “Sometimes our team feels down, but we just do our best and keep going on.”
According to Garrison Forest coach Missy Wells, her team’s mission against Mercy was to have no more than two putts per hole.
And while that didn’t always happen, the Grizzlies were still able to prevail because Lansman and Tabler pitched shutouts, as did junior Cassidy Riley (No. 3) and senior Gina Park (No. 4) over Mercy sophomores Hannah Maney (No. 3) and Francesca David (No. 4).
Garrison completed the sweep behind sophomore Brynn Bennett (No.5) and senior Vasi Argolopolis (No. 6).
“Everyone on the team has risen to the occasion this year,” said Wells, who has the luxury of having 12 players on a roster that has plenty of potential for success in the long haul.
She said that No. 3 player Riley’s ability from the tee is another strong suit for the Grizzlies.
Wells added that the sport lends itself to fair play and camaraderie with opponents
“I want my players and all other players to have an enjoyable experience,” she said.