By Luke Shannon | Sports Editor
SCRANTON – The conference championship represents the end of many athletic seasons. For women’s golf Saturday and Sunday, it represented a look at the future.
Sophomores Madalyne Buhler and Victoria Dowling led the way on championship weekend for the University of Scranton, finishing tied for sixth and eighth in the Landmark Conference, respectively. Their efforts helped lead Scranton to a third-place finish at the championship tournament.
Both golfers are sophomores, and their big performances add to the impressive resume each is already building. Dowling, who recently got her first Scranton Athlete of the Week award, and Buhler, looks to be two building blocks of this women’s team going forward.
“It was nice to be recognized by the school, but I was just happy with my performance and glad to lower the team score to help us win,” Dowling said.
Buhler said that she played two good rounds of golf this weekend, allowing her to take home all-conference honors.
“First team was a goal I set for myself in the fall, so I was really excited to earn that distinction,” Buhler said.
Buhler shot 168 (+24), while Dowling went 170 (+26) over two days at Northwest Golf Course in Silver Spring, MD. Rounding out the top five for Scranton this weekend were junior Kate Pagano (176, +32) and seniors Emma Nemitz (180, +36) and Molly Lennon (183, +39).
Although Buhler admitted she was hoping for a better team finish than third this season, she expressed pride in how her team played.
“Everyone showed improvement throughout the season, and I think that is something to be proud of. We definitely have a solid foundation going into next year with myself, Victoria, and Kate all returning,” Buhler said.
With Scranton hosting the conference championship tournament next year, both Dowling and Buhler said they are looking at this as an opportunity to grow- and prove that they belong right at the top of the conference.
“We are now starting to prove that Scranton golf can be a contender in major tournaments, and that is exactly what we are looking to do next year,” Buhler said.
Both Buhler and Dowling expressed gratitude that they had the other to help push them over the rest of their times as student-athletes at Scranton.
“Even though golf is a very individualized sport, I really enjoy the team aspect of it. I am always looking to learn from my teammates. At practice we exchange advice and constructive feedback and, as a result, we become stronger players,” Buhler said. “Victoria is a great player and teammate. I think we push each other in a healthy way, and I am really excited to compete for a conference title with her for the next few years.”
“I used to get overly nervous before every match and now I am able to enjoy my surroundings and the people I am playing with,” Dowling said