New Coach, Trio of Seniors Look to Lead Women's Golf
September 8, 2004
The Amherst women’s golf team finished 16th in the final National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) rankings, with nine top-10 showings to its credit. After a ninth-place finish at the season-opening Dartmouth Invitational, the Jeffs bounced back to take sixth at the Bryant Invitational and then third at the Mt. Holyoke Invitational. Senior Kathryn Kuchefski led the way as the top finisher at Bryant and Mt. Holyoke, nabbing 14th and 11th place, respectively. Amherst then hit the peak of its fall season earning the team title at the Wellesley Invitational. Kuchefski earned medallist honors with a two-day score of 78-77-155, and repeated the feat the following weekend with a 75-81-156 at the Central Connecticut State University Invitational, leading Amherst to a fourth-place finish.
The Jeffs opened the spring season with an outstanding performance at the Paradise Valley Community College Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona. Kuchefski posted a team-best 73-77-150, and first-year Sarah Harper was impressive as well, shooting a collegiate-best round of 79-73-152. The Jeffs returned to New England with an 11th-place showing at the Boston College Lady Eagle Invitational, the second best of any Division III school in the tournament, and returned the following weekend to earn second at the Wellesley Invitational behind a great effort from junior captain Meg Sullivan. They closed their season with a second-place finish at the Massachusetts State Championship and a seventh-place showing at the Northeast Championships.
Kuchefski and Kasarin Chakkaphak were both lost to graduation and will be sorely missed. Kuchefski led Amherst in seven of 10 outings last year and was the only Jeff to claim a tournament title. Chakkaphak was among the top scorers in the spring after sitting out the fall season.
Amherst returns a strong group, led by seniors Sullivan and Emily Foran. Sullivan, a returning captain, posted team-best scores in two of the final three tournaments in her junior campaign and is looking to pick up where she left off. Foran, who burst on the scene as a first-year with a fourth-place showing at the 2002 NCAA Championship Tournament, looks to lead the Jeffs along with fellow senior Sarah Godwin. Also returning are junior Melissa Sidman and sophomores Harper and Lauren White.
The list of newcomers is highlighted by first-year head coach Jim Plumer, who takes the reigns after leading the Amherst women’s ice hockey team to its best season in school history. “I’m excited to take over the women’s golf program this year, which has had such an impressive history of success,” he said. “I know I’m inheriting a solid team with good leadership, and I look forward to helping continue the tradition of making Amherst one of the top Division III programs in the East.” Joining Plumer will be first-year Alexandra Berman from Boca Raton, Florida, who will have ample opportunity to contribute as the season progresses.