"I know that I still have to practice a lot," said Panich, a sophomore. "Individually, I always expect to play well and I want to make it to the state tournament.
"Mentally, I still feel like I'm strong enough to get to state."
With her goals clearly outlined, it's considered by Panich, who graduated from Glendale in 2009 and was a two-time All-Area member, to be a transition year. In addition to improving each part of her game, there's the task of helping shape the future of the Glendale college program that's in its fourth year of existence.
At Glendale High, Panich excelled as a freelance athlete during the girls' season and became the top player on the boys' team for four seasons. She began her collegiate career at CSUN, where she received some playing time but said things didn't turn out the way she envisioned.
Wanting to continue playing, Panich opted to move to Glendale college, where she's been the Vaqueros' top player during the first three weeks of the season under the guidance of first-year Coach Greg Osbourne. She underwent an appendectomy in late August — about a week before the season began — preventing her from swinging a club for roughly 10 days. Though still occasionally bothered in the aftermath of the surgery, Panich has managed to put together some quality rounds.
For example, in her first appearance with the Vaqueros, Panich finished third overall with a 150 in the Desert Classic at Indian Canyon Golf Resort in Palm Springs on Sept. 4. With the temperature close to 100 degrees in the Coachella Valley, Panich opened with a five-over-par 77 before regrouping to fire a 73 in the second round. Her second round left its mark as the best in the short history of the GCC women's program.