Following the Golden Rams’ three-game home losing streak, all hopes for a PSAC East Championship are dashed. West Chester’s loss to East Stroudsburg Saturday at Hollinger Field House finds them on the brink of missing the playoffs, standing at four and four, and in fourth place. This team is a far cry from the one that marched into the conference final four a season ago, but with seven seniors you would expect this team to be further along then they are currently. The playoffs are no guarantee.
With seven seniors on the roster, this was supposed to be the year that the Golden Rams marched through the schedule, en route to a conference championship, finishing the job of their predecessors. Instead, as we approach the midway point in the month of February the team is struggling to find its identity.
“I’ve been in the business a long time and I just don’t have the answers,” commented head coach Dick Delaney following his club’s third consecutive home loss.
Delaney did not have the answers as to why his team struggled all day to break the Warrior’s full court press. He couldn’t explain how his club could fall behind UDC by double digits and only come to within six in the final three minutes of play. Nor, for why the Golden Rams let a very winnable game slip through their fingertips in double overtime against Kutztown last Saturday.
The high point of this team’s season came two weeks ago when it pulled off a stunning upset of Millersville who was, at the time, the top team in the Northeast region. One could expect the hangover from such a thrilling victory to last about a game, but there is no excuse for the three game skid that followed.
During the waning minutes of the game against East Stroudsburg, the players looked dejected. If this club intends to preserve its season and make a late playoff push they will need to show more determination, and figure out once again how to win. That will not be easy with road games against Cheyney, Millersville and Mansfield on the not so distant horizon. To accomplish this, they will need to look toward the senior leadership, and play within their individual roles.
Or else, Delaney will once again find himself searching for answers. This time wondering about what could have been.
Matt Lombardo hosts a weekly sports talk radio show on 91.7 WCUR from noon-2PM and is simulcast online at www.wcur.fm