Driven for success
by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor
Photos: Stonehill Athletics
There is such a beauty to the game of the golf. The setting are unreal, with the trees lining the course. The fresh cut greens, the long fairways, and even the bunkers if you can avoid them.
But, the game can be so frustrating at times. You could hit the perfect shot down the fairway and still boggy the hole. All it takes is your timing to be off to have the worse score of your life. That’s how the game of golf can go sometimes. You could feel good and shoot a 65 or you could feel good and shoot a 78.
Stonehill College senior Emily Kase knows the ups and down of this wonderful game we call golf. Her career at Stonehill has been one of a success - and one of excitement. When Kase first arrived on campus she did so as a Division II athlete. Then Stonehill made the decision to have their sports move up to the Division I level.
“Stonehill has been great. It has really been awesome,” stated Kase. “When I committed we were a DII, and there was a lot of things that made me go to a DII school, but now that we are DI it’s really awesome being able to experience both worlds. I am really excited, and I am glad that I am able to play at that level for my last season.”
It has been a very busy fall season for Kase. Besides the school moving up to the Division I level, Kase was also named captain of the team. She has taken on the captain role with the type of energy you would expect from her.
While this is the school’s first year at the highest level, Kase is still showing the younger players what it takes to complete at the collegiate level. She is helping them navigate through the ups and downs of playing college golf, while making sure they take care of what they need to take care of off the course.
This is one off the main reasons why Kase came to Stonehill in the first place. There was just something about the atmosphere of the team when she got there. It just hit different than most schools.
“Now that I am a captain, I really enjoy taking over that role, and heeling the younger freshmen,” stated Kase. “I tried to make sure they are having the best experience of their first year here. I have loved being part of this team all four years, it is the huge reason why I came here. Our team has always been amazing. Everyone has been great friends. We are student-athletes, but being a student comes first here at Stonehill.”
One might not think there is much of a difference moving up a division, but there is. The competition is going to be better, if only slightly. Because Kase has only competed at the DII level, she, like the rest of her teammates, are just going to learn as they go.
For the freshmen it’s all about not getting overwhelmed right away. They need to be able to work themselves into matches, and tournaments, as the season goes on.
“I think we will make a mark with the team that we have,” stated Kase. “ I think our team is just going to continue to get better and better. We just need to continue to practice and workout, so we have a shot to compete with the better schools. We just have to try and improve all of our games overall.”
It doesn’t matter what division you play at when you are coming from high school. Either way there will also ways be a transition period. During her time at Sacred Heart Academy, Kase dominated the field.
Kase was a two-time Western New Junior PGS Player of the Year. She was also an A—Catholic medalist her junior and senior year, while going undefeated over those last two years. Kase also earned All-Catholic and All-Catholic State honors all four years, while also earning All-Catholic Federations honors as well.
Even with all the success she had in high school, there was still a learning curve when she got to Stonehill.
“We always had a great golf team at Sacred Heart, and would always win a lot of our matches,” stayed Kase. “So, it kind of boosted my confidence, and made me feel good, winning a lot. Coming to college I would still shoot well, but finish in the middle of the pack. You have to realize that you are playing at a completely different level. In high school there are a few good girls, but in college everyone is good. Everyone is super competitive. It just made me realize, that me, and everyone else, just has to work harder, and keep improving. You just can’t stop improving because you committed to college.”
When she isn’t seining a golf club, Kase was also an All-Catholic in tennis at Sacred Herat as well. It seems golfers and tennis players have a lot of things in common. There are more and more golfers, especially at the high school level, that go on and play tennis in the spring.
Maybe is had something to do with the swing, and the movement of the hips and the upper body. Kase enjoyed her time at the Sacred Heart tennis team. and said that she can see why more golfers are playing tennis.
“They both have a lot of similarities,” stated Kase. “Strategic wise they are both the same. You can just hit a golf ball to a tennis ball. But, it’s where you know where to hit, and hit it in that spot. That’s a whole different level. Anyone can play golf, but you need to be able to hit it straight or hit a certain shot. Same with tennis, you need to be able to hit a certain shot on the court, and that’s how you can take your game to a whole different level.”