The back nine of the H Smith Richardson Golf Course is a challenge, and more so on a day like Monday, when the mist of rain increased to a chilly drizzle.

Nasty weather was no deterrent to the Fairfield-Warde girls' golf team (1-3), which won their first match of the season, taking the town title from Fairfield-Ludlowe (1-3), 202-226.

"I'm very proud of them today, in this weather, in these conditions," said Mustang Head Coach Brian Crocker. "202 is their lowest score this season so far in four matches, a very good score on this golf course, and were the weather better, I have a feeling that we could have been even lower."

Behind the team score, determined by totaling the four best scores out of five players, may have hidden the fact that medalist (best score) honors fell to Ludlowe's captain Melissa Gigliotti, who took advantage of a strong start to fire a 46 despite unfavorable conditions.

"The first two holes I started off par, par and that started me off well and gave me a good boost," said Gigliotti. "So I started off even, then basically I had to play seven holes for a nine hole score. I became confident and I was really excited. I've only played the back a few times. Although I knew where I was going, to start off like that even if I'm playing by myself is great because it's a confidence booster."

Gigliotti barely beat Warde's Amanda Gallucci, who shot a 47. Gallucci's Mustang teammates Laura Mallozzi, captain Hayley Coppola, and Tori Radovic also scored with 52, 53, and 50, respectively. The Falcon scorers included Lia Dimartino (58), Casey Caruso (60) and Lexa Aguas (62).

Although Coppola agreed with her coach about the girls' performance in the weather, she took a stoic approach to the discomfort.

"It definitely doesn't help, but you set it aside," said Coppola. "I didn't even feel it by the time I was out there--about the 15th hole, I'd say. You just put it off to the side and put it in the back of your mind."

What was not in the back of any of the golfers' minds was the fact that the town championship was on the line, but since the teams practice together and have the same home course, the bragging rights are viewed in a more mellow light.

"There's a big rivalry there, but we actually do get along pretty well," said Coppola. "I'm very good friends with most of the girls on the Ludlowe team and it's vice-versa, so I'd say that even though it's a very big rivalry, we are friendly competitors."

"This rivalry in golf is kind of different," Gigliotti, who plays opposite Coppola in a significantly less mellow atmosphere on the soccer field, agreed. "We practice together when we can, so it's less stressful and more fun cause we're all friends. It's fun cause we all help each other when we're practicing together."

The teams will meet again later in the season, hopefully in better weather, and when the Falcons, who aside from Gigliotti are new to varsity competition, have a little more match experience.

"This is their second year, their second year for all of them," said Falcon Head Coach Mary Ellen Corbiere. "They're all improving. They have their goals, they know what their goals are, and they're striving for their goals. Their scores have improved since the beginning of the season, so that's the best part. We have a lot of potential. It's just going to take a little time for that to grow."