Young Team Keeps Moving Forward

The Lady Hawks will continue their season on Dec. 12 versus Tufts University.

The Women’s Basketball team ended this previous season with a loss to SUNY Cortland in the championship game. However, the Lady Hawks have started off their season and are ready to take on the competition.

The Hawks, who are currently 3-4 and undefeated against SUNYAC teams, are taking one practice at a time, but know that the ultimate goal is to be the SUNYAC Champions in 2011.

“I think that time will tell as to where we’ll end up,” said Women’s Head Coach James Seward. “This is a very young team that graduated six seniors last year. However, the girls are very talented and I know that they have a lot of potential to do well.”

Seward, who is now in his fifth season as the coach of the Women’s Basketball team, also said that the team has great chemistry, something that is invaluable to a team that is looking to be successful. Seward said the girls are not only tough on their competition, but with each other, pushing their teammates to be even better than they were at the last practice.

“What we really want to do is always tell the younger girls that we’re there for them,” said second-year Alex McCullough. “As a team, we are always going to be there for one another and we are always going to have one another’s backs.”

As of right now, the team’s chemistry is distinguishing them amongst their competitors. This past weekend, they posted a weekend sweep by defeating SUNY Plattsburgh with a score of 67-55 and then defeating SUNY Potsdam with a score of 45-27.

The Lady Hawks have also faced teams outside of the SUNYAC Conference, such as UMass Amherst and Mount St. Mary, and despite losing to both teams, the Hawks feel more confident against their other competition because they started out against more challenging teams.

“I feel really confident about the rest of the season,” said third-year co-captain Caitlin Irwin. “We’re a very skilled team, and the weekend showed us that we have what it takes to go out on the court and really dominate.

Third-year co-captain Kaitlin Clifford agreed.

“We’re coming off of two big wins and we have two big games coming up,” Clifford said. “After that, it is all SUNYAC competition. I’m feeling pretty positive about the season right now.”

The biggest rivalry of the year for the Hawks will be from the Cortland Dragons, who are the reigning SUNYAC champions. Cortland is known for having an all-around nationally recognized athletics program, but the Hawks go into competition against Cortland with confidence, knowing just how to better themselves.

“What we need to do most is improve upon the little things,” said Seward. “Sometimes we slip up a little and other teams capitalize on that, which is something we need to watch out for.”

McCullough said the team’s athletic ability and physicality will help them against teams going forward.

“We are a young team, and it is definitely going to take some time, but when we put all of the pieces together, we’re going to do really well,” McCullough said.

Clifford believes that while the team has promise, mistakes need to be fixed before the team can take it to the next level.

“What we really have to do is be able to play a full 40 minutes of basketball,” said Clifford. “We have lapses where we make lots of mistakes, and other teams capitalize on that. I think we’ll get there soon, but for now we have to focus on the full 40 minutes more than anything.”

The Lady Hawks basketball team is young, but everyone involved sees that there is a large amount of talent and potential that will soon form into a dominant force to be reckoned with.

“I expect no less than a championship,” said Irwin. “I think we really deserve to win one.”