The Mount Holyoke golf team put forth one of the best season's in program history in 2013-14, powered by a number of incredible efforts. Led by third-year head coach Tim Walko, the Lyons recorded six top-five finishes, including the program's first-ever conference title.
With a roster that featured eight first years, the Lyons stepped into meet action at the season-opening New York University Inivtational. Powered by a fifth-place finish from junior captain Madi Mendiola, MHC was fourth overall, a big change from the team's 11th-place finish in 2012-13.
The Lyons continued to shine the following weekend, as the squad placed fourth at its own MHC Invitational at The Orchards. The end of September brought a superb effort from the Lyons' starting five, who all placed in the top-21 at the Middlebury Invitational. Mendiola paced the way in sixth, while first year Allison Shilling was 10th. As a team, the Lyons were third overall.
October brought the final two meets of the fall for Mount Holyoke, which didn't disappoint with fifth and third-place finishes at the Williams College and Ann S. Batchelder Invitationals, respectively. At Williams, Mendiola finished third, while rookie June Conti placed fifth. The pair then tied for ninth overall at the Batchelder.
A long and brutal winter led to a tough start in the spring, but the Lyons persevered with a seventh-place finish at the Vassar Invitational. At the Jack Leaman, Mendiola was 10th, helping MHC to a sixth-place finish in the regular season finale.
The team's hard work and determination would pay off in the final meet of the year – the 2014 Liberty League Championship, held at the challenging Crumpin-Fox Club. Day one saw the Lyons sitting second overall, just eight strokes behind the leader, NYU. Each of the five were spectacular on day one with Mendiola in third, first year Heaamin Lee in fifth, Conti in ninth, Shilling in 12th, and rookie Amanda Lee in 17th after the opening round.
Facing that eight stroke deficit to start day two, the Lyons showed no fear as they charged back into the meet with determination. MHC shot an incredible 331 on day two to claim victory by an astounding 21-stroke margin. Equally impressive was the fact that all five players garnered All-League honors – the only school in the Liberty League to do so.
Mendiola finished second overall, just one stroke out of first, while Conti and Heeamin Lee were fourth and fifth, respectively. All three were named to the All-Liberty League First Team. Amanda Lee and Shilling were both Second Team honorees – finishing in a tie for 10th.
It was a fitting end to a season that saw the Lyons dominate the Liberty League. Twelve weekly awards, including five Performer of the Week honors for Mendiola were handed out. MHC also dominated the Rookie of the Week awards as just one week, out of eight, went to a school other than Mount Holyoke. Conti paced the way with four of those seven rookie honors.
Mendiola, who was the Lyons' top finisher in all eight meets, tied her own school record for scoring average with a 79.88. Her efforts were recognized by the league coaches as she was named the Liberty League Player of the Year. Conti, who finished with an 82.25 scoring average, was voted the Rookie of the Year, while head coach Walko earned Coach of the Year recognition.
It was a season of greatness that not only put Mount Holyoke back on the map in Division III golf, but also set the stage for another exciting year to come!
• Won the 2014 Liberty League Championship
• Finished top-five in six meets – NYU Invitational, MHC Invitational, Middlebury Invitational, Williams Fall Invitational, Wellesley Fall Invitational & Liberty League Championship
• Three named All-Liberty League First Team – Madi Mendiola '15, June Conti '17 & Heeamin Lee '17
• Two named All-Liberty League Second Team – Allison Shilling '17 & Amanda Lee '17
• 5x Liberty League Performer of the Week (9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 4/14, 4/21) – Madi Mendiola '15
• 4x Liberty League Rookie of the Week (9/23, 10/7, 10/14, 4/28) – June Conti '17
• 2x Liberty League Rookie of the Week (9/16, 4/14) – Caroline Rubino '17
• Liberty League Rookie of the Week (9/30) – Allison Shilling '17
• Three student-athletes named to Liberty League All-Academic Team
Cover photo and top team photo courtesy of Lori Hendricks. Photo of Mendiola courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.