CARMEL - It was a tough day on the golf course of the Zionsville girls golf team Friday afternoon on Day 1 of the IHSAA State Finals.
But while the Eagles score of 324 wasn't quite what they were looking for, they are still sitting in fourth place, just one shot out of third and have all their team goals ahead of them to play for.
"The golf course played pretty tough today, and I think with the exception of Homestead, all the scores were a little high," Zionsville head coach Steve Simmons said. "We got off to a rough start and never got it turned around. As poorly as we played, all the goals we have are still right there for us. We will come back tomorrow with good attitudes and see what they can do."
The Eagles were 5-over as a team after the first hole, and were 21-over as a team after the first nine holes.
The team then was 33-over through 13 and in danger of getting out of podium contention.
But the team was able to pull it together on the final five holes, playing just 3-over as a team, including 2-under as a team on the final two holes.
"We played 17 and 18 really well," Simmons said. "I was really pleased with how we finished. We just have to get off to a better start. We had some players put up some bigger numbers on holes that they haven't done all year, and a little of that was the course and first-tee jitters, but we will be fine tomorrow."
Annabelle Pancake is eighth overall at the opening round after shooting a 76.
Lauren Kaltenmark is tied for ninth with a 77. The top-10 finishers in the tournament automatically earn all-state honors.
Pancake is looking to be a four-time all-state honoree, while it would be a first for Kaltenmark.
"Lauren deserves all-state," Simmons said. "She has been so consistent this year. She shot a 68 at the sectional, and outside of that she has been between 73-77 all year long. I would love nothing more than to see her get all-state and it would be a fitting end to a great junior year for her."
After a tough front-nine, Abby Thielbar came back to shoot 2-over on the back and finished with an 81.
Megan Gray had a 90 and Michelle O'Brien a 96 to round out the Eagles' line-up.
Saturday, the Eagles will play with Westfield and Columbus North.
"We can't play any worse than today, and I think the girls are going to come out and play really well tomorrow," Simmons said. "I have a good feeling about it. We didn't get any breaks today, nothing went our way and we still shot a decent number and are right where we want to be. We have to get off to a decent start and then I think we will be fine."