Ko and Co.
Published 1:01 am, Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Darien High School girls golf team is looking to build on the momentum the program created in 2009.
To be frank, 2009 was a game-changing season. Unprecedented. Suddenly, the team nobody had paid much attention to before was finding itself near the top of leaderboards.
The Blue Wave experienced unprecedented success last spring, recording a winning record (10-7-1) and reaching the FCIAC playoffs for the first time in program history. Darien also made it to states as a team, another first for the Blue Wave.
"I'm pretty confident we'll be able to build off that and hopefully gain some momentum," senior co-captain Stephanie Ko said. Ko was a critical part of Darien's success last season, and she'll be headlining a sizable group of players alongside co-captain Kendall Kyritz, who was and will be again instrumental to Darien's success a year ago. In fact, the Blue Wave lost just two girls -- Megan Ardery and Claire Baldwin -- off a team that finished second at FCIACs in 2009.
"This year is going to be a strong year for us," head coach Brian Zeyer, in his eighth year at the helm, said. "We are very deep compared to years prior."
So that's a good sign for Darien and a scary one for FCIAC bluebloods.
Kyritz, a junior, and Ko will be fixtures in Zeyer's lineup. The two captains set good examples for the rest of the team when it comes to cerebral nature of the game. Zeyer also likes the fact his captains are always willing to help their teammates improve their game.
"They both bring course management," Zeyer said. "They always help other players try to get better."
Another mainstay in the Blue Wave's lineup will be Nicole Garnath, who coupled with Darien's captains gives Zeyer his top three players from last year's team.
With those three atop Darien's scorecard, the competition for the two remaining spots is thick.
"It's going to be very competitive to get in the top five for varsity," Zeyer said.
Back from last year's squad is Nell Thalhamer, who qualified for states in 2009. She will be competing with Molly Marren -- who returns to the team after taking a year off to study abroad -- junior transfer Corinne Teschner and freshman Izzy Lee.
"I'm very confident that we're going to do well this year," Ko said. "We have a lot of returning players, but we also have a lot of new talent, which is exciting."
The Blue Wave opened the season with a home match against Fairfield Ludlowe on April 8, and it's been positive signs of developmente as a whole since then.
Darien has its sights set on its early season tilt with New Canaan, which topped the Blue Wave in FCIACs last year. The two teams square off Monday, April 19, at the Country Club of New Canaan. Darien feels pretty confident that its mix of momentum and talent gives the team the edge it needs to topple the Rams, who have lost just one match in three years.
"This year, I feel we have a team that can give New Canaan a good run," Kyritz said.
That New Canaan course was the unofficial coming-out party for Darien last year. It could be where a huge turn is made in 2010.