By Ryan Fitzgerald – Opinion Editor
Though the season is over, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are already looking forward to improving in the off-season.
The men’s team finished 10-16 overall, with a promising four-game win streak to end the regular season. Unfortunately, they lost in the quarterfinals of the GNAC tournament in overtime to Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.
“We had a strong finish at the end of the season, but losing in overtime of the conference tournament definitely stings a little,” said Head Coach Aaron Galletta.
The team had a blend of different players this season including four freshmen and four transfer players.
“We had a lot [of new players] this year so we knew it would take a while to come together,” said Galletta. “We improved as the season progressed, but it took a little longer than expected to gel together.”
Junior Pat Marchand, a transfer player from the Community College of Rhode Island, nearly averaged a double-double for the season with 15.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He led the Lasers in both categories and was named to the GNAC All Conference Second Team despite missing eight games during the season.
“I had high expectations going into this season,” said Marchand. “I knew this was somewhere that I could exceed my abilities.”
As far as next year goes Marchand said, “We have 11 returning players so expectations are high. We all need to get better at our game, hit the weight room, and become more of a team.”
During the off-season, the players will look to improve on their game to compete next year for a GNAC title. “Our success next year depends on how much the guys work from now until October 15,” Coach Galletta said.
The women’s basketball team finished their season with a similar record of 9-16.
“I expected our team to grow as students of the game and embrace being more concerned with the process than the result,” said newly appointed Head Coach Todd Montana. “Our players really bought into the way we wanted to play,
and more importantly they bought into playing for each other.”
The team fought hard each game and their record may not represent just how good they really are.
“If you look at our schedule, we lost seven games by seven points or less, so we weren’t far away,” said Montana.
Junior Katie Stopera led the team with 18.2 points and eight rebounds per game.
“My expectations were to do the best I could, and improve so that the team could improve,” said Stopera. “I knew that I had to score, that’s one of my main roles on the team.”
With a roster full of underclassmen and juniors, the Lady Lasers will be able to build on the team chemistry they began to form this season.
“I think anytime you bring back a large core of your team it presents an opportunity to have a strong foundation,” Montana said.
As for Stopera, next season will be her last and wants to make it a memorable one. “Our team goals next year are to have a winning season and make it to the playoffs,” said Stopera. “It’s my last year playing college basketball, so I
hope to make an impression.”