April 1, 2005
A Fitting End For Southampton College Lady Colonials
Team Focused on Conquering Tournament
Pekka Paavonpera (Pekka.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Southampton, NY When that certain Lady finally sung her song for Southampton Colleges Lady Colonial basketball team last weekend, it couldnt have been on a more bitter sweet note.
Playing not only their last game of the season, but also the last game ever to be played by a Southampton College basketball team, the Lady Colonials took out the ECAC championship on Saturday by defeating Philadelphia University 68-63. The night before the fourth seeded Lady Colonials, accounted for number one seed Bloomfield (NJ) 71-68.
In September, Southamptons undergraduate program is being moved to the campus of sister Long Island University college C.W. Post which means the end of an athletics program at Southampton. The College will be offering only graduate programs.
What made Saturdays championship game victory so special was that it was played in the same way the whole 2004/05 season had been played with guts, determination and against all odds.
On Saturday Southampton could only field seven players, a far cry from the 12 strong roster that had been retained and recruited prior to June 2004 when the transfer of the undergraduate program had been announced.
With the announcement the top recruits jumped ship, not relishing playing one season at Southampton and then having to find a new home. What remained was a few talented freshman recruits and a core of last seasons players, all reeling from the news this would be there last season at Southampton, but all determined to make the best of a bad situation.
But then five games into the season more bad news. Head coach Pat McGunnigle walked and shortly after two players, one a senior co-captain, also left. Left behind were eight gutsy players and new coach Cassie Arroyo, the Colleges softball coach, who had never coached a college level basketball game.
All rhyme and reason said it should have been further downhill from there on but it was not the way the tune turned out. They went on a 7-1 run, stumbled with 0-4 after two key players were injured, and then finished the regular season with a 4-1 burst and the post season 3-1.
As the Lady sung her final notes on Saturday, the Lady Colonials ended their season 18-12, with the players not only holding the ECAC trophy aloft but also their heads and the pride of the Southampton College basketball program.