By Jeremy Balan
As impressive as the St. Ignatius girls golf team has been in recent history, the Wildcats extended a daunting streak in the CIF NorCal Championship on Monday at Stanford University Golf Course.
The four-time defending Central Coast Section and 10-time defending West Catholic Athletic League champions fell short of the state championships for the fourth consecutive year, finishing fifth out of 12 teams with a combined score of 434.
Mission San Jose of Fremont, the North Coast Section’s second-place team, took the team title with a combined score of 400 and Alameda’s Carly Childs took the individual title with a 1-over 71.
“It was a tough day and obviously, we could have done better,” said St. Ignatius head coach Julius Yap. “I told the girls, though, ‘We won our 10th straight WCAL title and fourth CCS title. This season wasn’t a disappointment.’”
St. Ignatius senior Alexandra Wong was only five shots behind Childs, but finished in 12th place, outside of the individual qualifying range for the state tournament as well.
The championship ends the illustrious career of Alexandra and twin sister Andrea, who finished tied for 18th with a 9-over 79.
“Way beyond their golf, they’ve been great leaders and great role models,” Yap said. “It’s a mixed feeling, because we had a great year. We just didn’t have our best day.”
Lincoln, the Academic Athletic Association champion, also competed in the tournament, finishing in 12th place with a team score of 630.
Another pair of Wong sisters, Shannon and Kristi, had solid outings for the Mustangs.
Shannon, a senior who finished second to her sister the AAA championship, edged Kristi with an 87 on Monday to finish tied for 39th place. Kristi shot 88 to finish tied for 42nd.
“It’s a really tough course, so I’m really glad Shannon was our medalist in her last tournament,” said Lincoln head coach Steve Robinson. “The most important part of it was that everyone persevered. There were some difficult holes, but all the girls finished.”
Kristi, a junior, will likely have another shot in the NorCal championship, and Robinson sees a glaring reason for motivation.
“Shannon beat her by a stroke, so she’s going to want to come back and beat her sister’s score on whatever course,” Robinson said.
For St. Ignatius, the two superstars will be hard to replace, but Yap is defiant to any doubters.
“They’re writing us off, but that’s a little premature,” Yap said. “We’re still defending champions and will be until they knock us off.”
Top 10 San Francisco finishers
12. Alexandra Wong, St. Ignatius – 76
18. Andrea Wong, St. Ignatius – 79
39. Pascale Shoshinski, St. Ignatius – 87
39. Shannon Wong, Lincoln – 87
42. Kristi Wong, Lincoln – 88
53. Haley Friesch, St. Ignatius – 93
61. McKenzie Dowling, St. Ignatius – 99
68. Lizzy Detert, St. Ignatius – 105
77. My Pham, Washington – 114
84. Tiffany Wang, Lincoln – 130