LYNN — The train just keeps on rolling for the St. Mary’s golf team. The Spartans were back in action Tuesday afternoon and — thanks to some strong performances at the top of the lineup — earned a 167-159 win over Catholic Central League foe Austin Prep at Gannon Golf Course.
“It was a good thing we were able to take a nice lead in the beginning, because we ended up having to hold on to win this one,” said St. Mary’s coach Jay Fiste. “Austin Prep has a good squad this year and they have a lot of depth, which really showed itself at the end of the match. Luckily we had enough of an advantage to hold on.”
The Spartans were led by sophomore Aidan Emmerich, who has been at the top of his game so far this season. Emmerich shot 1-over and earned 34 points for the team. To this point in the season, Emmerich has actually shot a total of 1-under par for the season.
“He’s a really special player, and he’s just getting better and better,” Fiste said of Emmerich. “He’s a seasoned player at this point, he plays against all the top amateurs in the summer tournaments and he’s starting to gain some size now and hit the ball further. He’s got all the tools to really be a great college recruit in the future.”
Luke Sargent added 32 points, while Peter Pagliuca had 29 points. Sean Mathers had 25 points and Luke Smith had 19 points.
“We’ve been getting a lot of very consistent play from our top five guys so far this year, which has been big for us,” said Fiste. “These guys have all been here before and know what it takes to win, so it’s good to see them continuing on the upswing.”
The Spartans got off to a hot start with their top five players, jumping out to an early lead over Austin Prep. But the Cougars, showing no quit, remained in the match until the very end. It was only thanks to the large output from the top five that St. Mary’s was able to escape with the win when the points were all added up.
The win keeps St. Mary’s undefeated on the young season, but it’s who the Spartans are winning these matches against that matters. St. Mary’s (5-0) is now 5-0 against CCL teams and 3-0 against teams in the CCL Large.
“Our league is very strong this year, there are a lot of teams that have quality players,” said Fiste. “I think us, Austin Prep and (Bishop) Fenwick are probably the three strongest, but every team is good. To get off to a start like this and already have three wins in the Large and five wins in the league overall, that’s huge for us. Our first goal is always to qualify for the state tournament, but next on the list is winning the league. We’re in a good position to reach both of those goals so far.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans, as next on the docket is Division 1 St. John’s Prep. The Spartans and Eagles will tee off Wednesday afternoon (3) at Gannon.
“That’s a Division 1 school and one of the best golf programs in the state, so we know we’re going to be in for a challenge whenever we face them,” Fiste said. “We have a little bit of an advantage by playing on our home course, but they’re a very seasoned team and they have a lot of talent, so we’ll all have to be at the top of our games.”