WESTPORT—Considering the Staples girls golf team had finished runners-up nine times since the FCIAC held a championship event in 2000, winning the championship for just the second time was a proud moment in every sense.

The Wreckers graduated one of the top players in the state in Anelise Browne, which will make defending their newly-won crown a little tricky. But each other scorer from last year returns, including seniors Alex McMahon, Erica McDonald, Abigail Miller and Olivia Wood. Junior Sophie Carozza will help fill out the lineup for Staples.

“Being champions sounds great and to repeat would be even better,” said Wreckers coach Patty Kondub. “I feel confident and excited; we have returning starters and you can’t complain about that. We did lose Anelise, which was tough.”

McMahon and Wood will compete for time in the No. 1 slot for the Wreckers, a perch that’s been held by several talented golfers over the past several seasons, including Browne and Monmouth University junior Faith Garcia. The lineup will likely be more balanced with little dropoff between spots.

“You can look at it two ways,” Kondub said. “it’s great that they have to chip in evenly but it is nice when you have someone that you knew was going to have a low score. It’s nice to have four returning seniors.”

Staples placed ninth at the State Open last season and hopes to improve upon that this spring, in addition to keeping its newly-won title. Fairfield Warde, which finished three strokes behind the Wreckers at FCIACs last season, returns all its top contributors and is one of the favorites to claim the title.

Numbers are also up for the program; twenty-three girls tried out for the team this spring. A freshman may crack the linup at some point during the season, Kondub said.

With Longshore closed due to weather the Wreckers have taken several creative measures to get prepared for the season, which doesn’t start until April 18 at Ridgefield. The group went to Birchwood Country Club to receive lessons on an indoor simulator and received lessons in the psychology of the game.

rlacey@bcnnew.com, twitter.com/ryanlacey11