By Kirti Chakote
After losing to Vassar College on Feb. 4, the Dutchwomen were 6-7 in conference play, with an overall 10-11 record, and two games behind fourth seeded William-Smith College. However, during its playoff push, the Union Girls Basketball team grinded out four straight wins to grab the number four seed in the Liberty League playoffs.
They defeated William-Smith College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Clarkson University and Skidmore College. They beat these teams by an average of 10.5 points.
Led by their three leading scorers, Brittney Kenney ‘14 (averaging 11.6 points), Shayla Madden ‘13 (8.8 points) and impressive freshman Kate Thompson (6.7 points), Union showed resiliency and was able to close out key fourth quarter moments.
The girls’ brilliant play is also special for the last season of the senior captains, Mary Donohue and Rachel Beaulac. It is a nice way for the seniors to finish off a career-best season. Beaulac is one of the team’s leaders in rebounds at 6.5 per game, and Donohue leads the team in assists at 2.7 per game.
It was natural that Beaulac and Donohue would play instrumental roles in getting the underclassman ready for the playoff push, as the team lost a talented core of seniors last season, and were relying heavily on the neophytes. Lauren McCormick, Leah Pepe and Lauren Hennessey highlight the group of departed seniors from last season, as they were three of the team’s leading scorers to help Union to an impressive 14-9 record.
Hopefully the Dutchwomen will be able to take the momentum from this great run to the playoffs. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Union will be playing number one seeded St. Lawrence on the Saints’ home court. The Saints were a formidable force during league play, finishing with an undefeated, 16-0, conference record. They won their games by an average 17.38 points.
During the season, the Dutchwomen lost at home to St. Lawrence 69-54, but they lost by just two points on the Saints’ court, 47-49.
Hopefully the girls will make Coach Burt’s 11th playoff berth in her 13 seasons as head coach one to remember.