Sandburg’s Emily Cosler couldn’t have asked for a better start to the postseason.
Five holes into her round at Lincoln Oaks in Crete, Cosler was 4-under with an eagle.
“My coach (Todd Allen) doesn’t want me thinking about scores, but at that point I was thinking about being in the 60s,” she said.
Cosler didn’t quite hit that mark, but she still carded an even-par 71 on Wednesday to win the Class AA Marian Catholic Regional by four stokes over Lincoln-Way East’s Kelly Sterling.
Cosler registered two eagles and two birdies over her first nine in earning her best round of the season. She also had a hole-in-one opportunity, landing within a foot of the hole on a par-3 to sink a birdie following her first eagle.
“It was so exciting on that front nine,” Cosler said. “I came back and I was really fighting on the back nine because I knew where I was and didn’t want to give it up. I ended up being 3-over to shoot even. It was a fight some of the time. My putter wasn’t extraordinary — lots of good wedges and good iron shots.”
Cosler pushed Sandburg to its second straight regional title with a 325. Lincoln-Way East was second with a 361. Lincoln-Way North used a 363 to beat Marist’s 367 for the last sectional-qualifying spot.
The top three teams along with the 10 best individual scores from non-qualifying schools advance to Monday’s Lincoln-Way Central Sectional at The Sanctuary.
Sandburg also received contributing scores from Frankie Saban (79), Erin Cronin (87) and Emilyee McGiles (88).
The Bradley-bound Saban and Marian’s Mira Nicpon had 79s to tie for third. T.F. South’s Maggie Sloan rounded out the top five with an 80.
Sloan, a Loyola recruit, competed with the girls for just the second time this season. T.F South doesn’t field a girls team.
“I’m a lot more aggressive than a lot of these girls,” Sloan said. “I feel like playing with the boys, I have to be.”
Sloan had a chance to be in the mid-70s but she quadruple-bogeyed her last hole.
“I’d like to say (my round) was bad, but it was pretty good,” Sloan said. “I just fell apart on the last hole. … Stuff happens.”
Lincoln-Way East used scores from Taylor Miron (92), Erin Bullington (96) and Nell Borys (98) — along with Sterling’s runner-up finish —to take second.
“My round felt really bad, but I actually did better than I thought,” Sterling said. “I missed a lot of five-footers.”
Lincoln-Way North advanced from regional play for the first time in program history behind scores from Anne Allen (87), Rachel Chavel (87), Hannah Hill (92) and Sydney Stajszszak (97).
Other advancing individuals include Marist’s Kaitlyn Maloney (84), Kelly Barker (92), Sam Smith (94), Hannah McMahon (97) and Diana Lang (102); Marian’s Emily Schenk (97); Oak Forest’s Sara Valenta (99); and Andrew’s Sara Crane (101).