Mounties cap historic season

The Mount Aloysius women’s basketball team ended an incredible run through the AMCC regular season and playoffs with a loss to top-seeded and four-time defending champion La Roche College on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the loss, the Mounties have much for which to be proud after their record setting season.

This year’s group, known for its selfless play on the offensive end and suffocating defense, finished the 2013-2014 campaign with an overall record of 17-11, including a program-record 13 conference victories in the regular season. Included in that stretch was an eight-game winning streak against eight different conference opponents from Jan. 11 to Feb. 1. Seven of those eight victories were decided in double-digits.

The Mounties defeated D’Youville in the opening round of the AMCC playoffs and upset second-seeded Medaille College in the semifinals to reach the AMCC championship game for the first time in program history.

In a first-round win over sixth-seeded D’Youville on Tuesday, the Mounties used a strong first half and well-balanced team effort to defeat the visiting Spartans by a score of 71-54.

The Mounties followed that up with a 62-57 victory over Medaille in the semifinals on Friday evening. In her first extended action since a knee injury suffered Feb. 6, star guard and Bishop Carroll graduate Lindsy Sammarco scored 20 points, including 5 of 10 3-pointers, two fourth quarter drives to the hoop that broke up Medaille scoring runs and seven rebounds.

The Mounties incredible run ran out of gas 18 hours later against La Roche, who used a 21-4 run in the middle of the first half to break away for the championship victory. Bard led with 15 points, including a trio of 3-point shots, while Sammarco and Maruca finished their stellar senior campaigns as they combined for 17 points, nine assists and five rebounds.

For Mount Aloysius College women’s basketball coach Kristi Kaack, the season marked a continuation of a three-year upward trajectory.

Historically, her tenure marks several firsts: the first time the Mountie women made the playoffs three straight years, the first time they made the final four three years running and the first time a Mount Aloysius men’s or women’s basketball team has made it to a championship game in 11 years in the AMCC.

With Saturday’s game, the Lady Mounties basketball team bid farewell to four-year team leader Lindsy Sammarco.

A star in the classroom and an honored two-sport athlete, (basketball and softball), Sammarco was the AMCC preseason player of the year.

This year she fought back from her Feb. 6 injury to play against D’Youville on Senior Day, Feb. 22 at the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center and even with limited minutes, she continued to spark her team.

Sammarco has won both the Mount Aloysius best female athlete of the year, and top scholar athlete in separate years, beating out numerous first-team All-Conference performers.

She and a teammate were selected to serve as student-hosts to Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and his wife, Patricia when they visited campus for Commencement last May.

Sammarco will cap her Mount Aloysius College athletic career in a softball uniform.