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East Union places fifth at SJS NorCal qualifier
East Unions Brittany Ugalino tees off on the first hole at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton Monday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

STOCKTON — East Union’s girls golfers executed enough shots to be competitive, but all they could think about were the few they missed after the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament held at The Reserve at Spanos Park Monday.

The Lancers came into the NorCal qualifier with high expectations, finishing fifth out of 14 teams with a solid 442. But under these perfect weather conditions, solid was not good enough.

St. Francis (415), Lodi (419) and Pleasant Grove (425) earned qualifying bids to the CIF Northern California Championship. Rocklin placed fourth with a 432.

“Right now we’re looking back kicking ourselves going, ‘Why couldn’t I make that little tap-in (putt),’ and thinking about every little missed shot,” said East Union co-captain Angelique Cardoza, who played a big part in the Lancers’ current five-year championship streak in the Valley Oak League.

“Coming in, we thought we had a really good chance because of our scores from our practice rounds here. We felt comfortable,” she added.

Cardoza did her part, carding a 12-over 84. East Union was spearheaded by freshman phenom Brooke Riley’s 10th-place score of 78. Riley was a stroke away from earning an individual medal awarded to the top-six finishers. The cutoff for an individual NorCal berth was 74. Woodland’s Sara Carlett was low medalist with a 70. Joining her at Brookside Country Club in Stockton next week are Kelsey Ulep (72) of Whitney, Maddy Gedeon (73) of Oakmont and Paige Lee (74) of Granite Bay.

“The score alone doesn’t sound bad, but when you really break down how I played today — with the four-putt, three-putt, the two water balls — I definitely could have done better,” Riley said.

It was still an impressive finish to an impressive season for Riley, who won the VOL and SJS Division IV Tournament titles.

East Union should again be in the running next season with three others returning. Juniors Jordan Vinson and Brittany Ugalino played made their second Masters appearances, turning in an 88 and 100, respectively. Fellow junior Breanna Perkins also finished with a 100, and senior Kimberley LaMar checked in with a 92.

“I’m proud of my team for a great season, and I’m proud of everything I was a part of the past for years,” Cardoza said. “Just making it here was a great experience not only for me, but for the younger people on the team.”