Hard Work Equals High Reward for Lady Pacers

By Shane Ostroski
Sports Editor

The Marywood University Women’s Basketball Team is off to an impressive start to their season. The Pacers as of The Wood Word deadline, January 27th, have a record of 11-4 with a 5-1 record in the CSAC. They are currently second in the CSAC North standings, behind Centenary College and third overall in the CSAC behind Neumann University and aforementioned Centenary.

The Pacers set high goals for themselves coming into the season. Sophomore Guard Mariah Schaeffer had this to say about the team’s expectations “We wanted to finish this season with a better record than last year and qualify for the CSAC playoffs.” Last year’s team finished the season 16-10, so the Pacers are on the verge accomplishing both team goals.

The team got off to a fast start winning their first seven games. In that span the Pacers beat Elizabethtown College, Penn St Hazleton, Wilkes University, Immaculata University, Penn St Schuylkill, Keystone College, and Misericordia University. The streak would be snapped with a tough road loss to Delaware Valley College. The Pacers would then go on to a lose a close game at Arcadia University 58-56.
The team would get back to their winning ways with a lopsided victory over conference rival Baptist Bible.

The Pacers would then lose to their toughest opponent on the schedule Division II Nyack College. The team would go on to win their next three conference games with victories over Baptist Bible, Cedar Crest College and the Rosemont College Ravens. The Pacers would then suffer their first in conference loss at the hands of Centenary College 82-76.

The leading scorers for the team are Schaeffer averaging 13.9 points per game, Center Amanda Lass 10.5 ppg and Forward Lizzy Green adding 10.3 ppg. The Pacers are shooting a respectable 31.3% from beyond the arch on the year. The top 3 point shooters(attempts made) on the team are Guard Lauren Rogan 24, Guard Marielle Thorsen 16, and Schaeffer connecting on 12. Schaeffer also leads the team in assists with 36 and Lass leads the team in rebounds with 112.

In a notable individual accomplishment, Amanda Lass recorded her 1,000 career point in the victory over Cedar Crest. Lass becomes just the ninth Pacer to eclipse 1,000 points and has recently moved up to 8th on the all time scoring list for Marywood.

It is easy to get caught up in all the offensive statistics that the Pacers have produced, but it has been the defense that has made the difference. “We work really hard on defense in practice and we go into every game focused on stopping the other team’s scorers,” added Schaeffer. The Pacers are holding their opponents to a dismal 35.7% field goal percentage while also forcing over 22 turnovers a game.

The Pacers are pleased with the progress they have made early on in the year, but are still focused on what needs to be done for the season to be a complete success. “The season has gone well and we have really come together as a team. We have worked hard to get where we are, but we know we have more work to do and we are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals,” said Schaeffer.

The Pacers have ten games remaining on the schedule, with nine of those games against conference foes. The team has been exciting to watch with their balanced offense and stifling defense. There is no doubt this team can make some serious noise far beyond the regular season .