ISABEL BROZENA celebrates her 2024 state championship with, from left to right, NRHS athletic director David Johnson, golf head coach Brian McAuliffe and principal AJ Loprete. (Courtesy Photo)



HADLEY — If you happen to be making your way along Park Street, be certain to take a moment to applaud the digital signboard resting at the corner of Arthur J. Kenney stadium. The current honoree, her name prominently splashed across the display, is recent North Reading graduate and golf sensation Isabel Brozena.

On June 3, Brozena outpaced a talented field of 60 high school golfers to claim the MIAA Division 1 girls’ championship which was staged at the par-72 Ledges Golf Club in Hadley, Massachusetts. She finished 6-under, 6 strokes ahead of her nearest competition, Lillian Guleserian of Westwood.

It was the second State title in three years for the gifted Brozena and in her opinion, marked the crowning achievement to a storied athletic career with North Reading High School.

“Winning the States this season was definitely a big moment for me,” said Brozena, who also cherishes her first championship title as a sophomore. “It was even more special because last year, as a junior, I lost by just one stroke.”

Brozena, a two-year Hornet team captain, was referring to the 2023 MIAA North/Central/West Sectional Tournament where she shot a 5-under 65 to Guleserian’s 64. Oddly enough, the two girls have been best of friends for years and frequently face each other in area golf tournaments.

“There’s a group of about 20 girls who regularly play in area tournaments,” said Brozena, whose first golf experience was as a seven-year-old on a driving range with her father. “I’ve grown up with Lillian and others since I started playing on the tournament circuit and on the US kids golf tour at age 9 or 10.”

Upon reaching the high school ranks in 2021, Brozena joined the North Reading boys’ team. Not that she had much choice in the matter. She was the only girl on the team and only one of two female golfers in the entire Cape Ann League. But she agreed that by competing with the boys, she gained a wealth of experience.

As a sophomore, Brozena journeyed to North Carolina to compete in the 2021 National High School Invitational, held at the Pinehurst Resort, which is the current site of the 2024 U.S. Open. Brozena, ranked No. 163 in a field of more than 8,000 golfers, was one of 53 Massachusetts entrants. Facing some of the best female golfers in the nation, she finished 3rd overall, shooting a 77, 68 and 70 respectively, on several different courses over the three-day tournament.


ISABEL BROZENA finished 6-under and 6 strokes ahead of her nearest competition to win the MIAA Div. 1 girls’ golf State Championship on June 3 at Ledges Golf Club. Brozena will start her collegiate career at Xavier University in the fall. (Eric Evans File Photo)

Last June, Brozena committed to Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and signed in mid-November. Not surprising, she sought a school with a noteworthy golf program and it took very little persuasion before she made the decision to join the Musketeers.

“I was speaking with a couple of other schools but it was only a day or two before I made the choice to attend Xavier,” she recalled. “They play a lot of competitive tournaments and it is definitely a great program. I’ve met all their players and they seem very nice and I’m really excited to get started.”

Most recently, Xavier, a Division 1 school, edged Georgetown to win the 2024 Big East Women’s Golf Championship.

Brozena, who briefly dabbled in tennis as a youth, places nearly her entire focus on improving her golf game. For instance, when asked about hobbies, she explained that she spends a great deal of time working out, adding strength to improve her drives.

One of the beneficiaries of Brozena’s golf talents is her North Reading coach, Brian McAuliffe, who guided the Hornets to a 14-4 overall record this season.

“Isabel is as humble an athlete of that caliber that you’ll ever come across,” said McAuliffe, who also coaches the Hornet varsity hockey team. “She is extremely personable. As a student, she is hard-working, great in the classroom and has a solid work ethic. All season long, she chose to play from the boy’s tees, to challenge herself more and prepare for next level golf.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with Coach McAuliffe over the last four years,” said Brozena. “He has been very supportive of my golf career.”

Brozena’s parents, Lee and Elizabeth, are obviously two of her most ardent supporters. When asked if she expects the couple to travel once she joins the college ranks and regularly competes in far-flung locations, Brozena said with a laugh, “We have a tournament in the Bahamas this fall and I know they really want to go to that one.”

A four-year honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society, Brozena remains undecided about a career path as an incoming freshman at Xavier this fall. But she is headstrong about the direction she hopes to take in her golf future.

“I’m not sure what I want to go into,” she admitted, “but I definitely want to play golf after college and I do want to try and go professional. I’ll probably reevaluate during my junior and senior year to make sure that I’m good enough. Obviously, I want to be. There have been a number of girls from Xavier who have gone pro. I really hope that I’m one of them.”

“On the national and international stage, she is right there with the best of them,” said McAuliffe. “I’ve been around a number of professional athletes over the years, and the one thing they have in common, they are driven. Isabel meets challenges head-on. The determination that she possesses will get her to the highest level. I’m really excited to see what she accomplishes.”