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Cavaliers' Comeback Merits Conference Title, Weekly Honor
Entering the final round 10 strokes back of leaders Simon Fraser, the Cavaliers rallied to claim the team title by seven strokes. Photo by Shawn Toner.
Entering the final round 10 strokes back of leaders Simon Fraser, the Cavaliers rallied to claim the team title by seven strokes. Photo by Shawn Toner.

Monday, April 30, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Facing a 10-stroke deficit heading into the final round of the 2018 GNAC Women’s Golf Championships last Tuesday, Concordia used a spirited comeback to claim its first-ever conference title. The Cavaliers’ top performance also merits this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honor.

Behind a solid team effort, Concordia fired a 299 in the second round to edge second-place Simon Fraser by seven strokes. Earning the individual medalist honor with a 7-over par 149, sophomore Caitlyn Villatora fired rounds of 74 and 75 to lead the Cavaliers to a GNAC Championships record of 611.

“[I told the team] to stay focused and that you could still do it. Ten strokes down, it never once came to anyone’s attention that we were out of it by any means. We stayed really positive but didn’t get too worked up,” said interim head coach Kim Dehning.

With Concordia shooting a 28-over par 312 in the opening round, it looked as if Simon Fraser was on par for its third consecutive GNAC title. Never giving in, the Cavaliers ended the tournament with four of their five scoring players finishing within the top-10, the most by any competing team.

“They are a very determined group of ladies and went into [the tournament] wanting to win. They were focused and went out there to play their best golf,” added Dehning.

Sophomore Cammie Decker finished the tournament in second place at 8-over par 150 while junior Shantel Antonio tied for fourth with a 153. Heading into the last round nine strokes over par, Antonio clubbed a tournament-low 72 and managed a team-high five birdies in the final round of play to finish 10 strokes over par. Freshman Staesha Flock rounded out the Cavaliers’ top-four scorers in 10th with a 159.

“I knew they were capable of [winning the GNAC Championships],” said Dehning. We had some really good rounds this spring and I know how talented of a group we have. It’s just so exciting going forward for next year and what we can continue to accomplish as they continue to get older and experienced.”

Decker leads the GNAC with a 77.4 stroke average while Antonio and Villatora are third and fourth in the conference with 78.7 and 78.9 strokes per round, respectively. The trio has also combined for seven of Concordia’s 11 top-10 finishes this season.

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