No playoffs this time, but women's basketball here to stay

By Jamie Macpherson

The women’s basketball team ended its season this year with a high intensity game against the Hamline Pipers. Although the Scots were neck and neck with the Pipers for the majority of the game, they ended with a heartbreaking 63-48 loss.Head Coach Ellen Thompson believes that the loss shouldn’t detract from the team’s achievements this year. “We had an exciting season,” she said. “One of our goals was to make each game a game. Obviously we didn’t get to our ultimate goal, [the playoffs], but I’m really proud of the team.”

The team has made significant strides this year. Two years ago, the team was at ground zero, with barely enough women to play. This year, the Scots have twelve players, and were able to finish their season with an overall 9-16 record.

“Based on many factors, this was a really good year for us,” Majra Mucic ’11 said. ” We had a chance, especially in our last few games, like St. Ben’s and Carleton, to beat top teams despite our lack of a home gym, many players, and experience. .Macalester [is] no longer a practically guaranteed win for other teams like it used to be.”

The team encountered several setbacks this year. There were the anticipated problems that came with not having a home gym, such as scheduling and additional travel time.

The Scots also struggled with the loss of two players, Captain Elise Pagel ’09 and point guard Danielle Johnson ’10, on their already small team due to injuries. Both women were starters, and their absence meant a detrimental loss of experienced players on the team.

“There were many factors that brought us down,” Mucic said. “But I feel that as a team we just played the cards we were dealt. The depth of our team made an impact. There were times when we would just get outrun .because other teams could sub in and out the whole game whereas we couldn’t.” Mucic also brought up the point that with no home gym, there was less time for practicing mid to long range jumpers; something that became a deciding factor during Hamline’s game.

Reflecting on the Hamline game, Thompson acknowledged the Pipers played well, but she’s still proud of her players. “I’m not going to take a shot at Hamline,” she said. “I’m real proud of my team for the fire and [resilience] they showed.”

“The last game was a battle,” Mucic said. “We played hard but our shots just weren’t going in. They were all good shots, it just wasn’t happening for us.” However, Mucic was quick to look on the positive side. “It was fun to play in a game like that. The last game of regular season finally meant something for Macalester. That was pretty special.”

Looking ahead, Thompson says she can only see her team improving. “I see a great group of kids. I hope to see them all come back next year. No longer are we going to be the young team, we’ll be a team with experience.”

Mucic echoed her coach. “Seeing as we aren’t losing any players next year, I think that we are very much capable of making the playoffs and even competing for the conference title,” she said. “Plus, other teams are going to give us a lot more respect next time around.