St. Mary's Women's Basketball Off to Perfect Start

Saint Mary's Women's College Basketball

St. Mary's Women's Basketball Off to Perfect Start

It may be too early to breathe the words, “perfect season,” but a 7-0 opening for St. Mary's women's basketball is certainly impressive. The Gaels are in fact off to their best start in the history of the institution. Of the teams they've faced so far and defeated, one of the most shocking may be the win over Toledo. Toledo was the MAC champion last season. Being able to beat such top-notch competition may signal a rise in the fortunes and talents of St. Mary's.


Something in the Water?

Not only is the women's team at St. Mary's off to a lossless start, so is the men's team. The men's team is currently enjoying a 6-0 record.

What is the reason for such success at this school? Randy Bennett, coach for the men's team joked that perhaps there was “something in the gym.”  Meanwhile, women's coach Paul Thomas says the success of the women's team boils down to his philosophy of teamwork and accountability of one's teammates. He says that the potential for greatness is there for the women's team, but in his opinion, they haven't quite grasped it yet. You could practically hear the wood-knocking post quote. But whether it's luck or skill, it's hard to ignore the fact that something special is happening at St. Mary's.


“We've Got Good Fans.”

The fan support for the Gaels has been acknowledged as a factor in the feel-good season atmosphere so far. It seems everyone from the hot dog vendor to the real estate coach is turning up to offer some support. “The Gael Force,” as Gaels fans are known, is a very vocal bunch, and in sports this can be important, as having a very loud and enthusiastic support system behind your team can really bring a team together. In association, football fans are often considered “the twelfth man” on the field.

If basketball isn't much different, it could be that fan support is playing a key role in inspiring the women's team to move forward. Senior Jackie Nared said that one of the things she most enjoyed about having moved to St. Mary's is the close team and unity of the school environment. It's likely that even if the Gaels slip in the future, that closeness will play an important role in helping the team weather any difficulty.


Will the Success Last?

The other burning question, the one right behind “how is this happening?” is one that some would be reluctant to know: how long will the perfect season last?

Conventional wisdom holds that all good and wonderful things must come to an end. It is those rare few that enjoy both history and perfection. The Gaels nearly had an NCAA tournament on their hands, only for a 80-67 loss against Pepperdine to make it all crumble. Perhaps the winning streak isn't so much about perfection as a promise to the team and fans.


This Time We'll Be Better.

Nared seems to confirm this. “We want to do the right things, execute our fundamentals. We don't want to have any regrets this year.” No team could regret a perfect and historic start to the season. So far, so good.

How long it will last is anyone's guess, but should it last, it will have been not just about luck or campus spirit, but a determination to make good on promises and potential.