For Muhlenberg women’s basketball, this past Saturday, Feb. 8 was Senior Day, but, unfortunately, the Lady Mules fell to the McDaniel Green Terror 64-58.
Prior to the game, Muhlenberg honored its six seniors: Emily O’Mahoney ‘20, Emilie Benton ‘20, Maggie Chau ‘20, Caroline Hogg ‘20, Madison Kirchofer ‘20 and Ashley Polera ‘20, a group that not only found success on the court, but in the classroom as well, with a combined 30 semesters on the Dean’s List.
Even though the team came up short, they played a great game, especially Mikaela McGarvey ‘22. Dropping 30 points, McGarvey became the first Mule to reach that mark in four years since Brandi Vallely ‘18 dropped 39 at Dickinson. Her six three-pointers were also the most in a game since Rachel Plotke ‘18 netted seven against Ursinus in 2018.
Their offense was on point all throughout, which will be critical in maintaining in their last three games of the season. “We shot well against McDaniel and defended fairly well,” said McGarvey. “It was a tough game to lose, but we can learn and be better from the experience.”
Teammate and honoree Madison Kirchofer ‘20 also believes their offensive game was working well throughout the loss. “I think we worked really well on the offensive end and we were able to score when we needed to,” said Kirchofer. “Overall, our defense was solid, but we now know we need to emphasize hustle and boxing out until the end.”
The group is coming up on one of the most important stretches of the season. With a game in hand, the Mules are at 10-11 overall and 8-8 in C.C. play, and sit in a tie in the loss column with Swarthmore for the fifth and final spot for the Centennial Conference playoffs. There is going to be a lot of pressure on this team to win its last four games, but they are ready for the challenge.
“Right now, we’re in a tough spot, as we are ranked 6th; however, the teams above us are just a few wins out of reach,” said the sharpshooter McGarvey. “We know that when we play well, we can beat any team in the league, and we all really want to make a run in the playoffs, so that’s definitely keeping us motivated.”
For Kirchofer, the keys to success rest in remaining focused on their goals. “Extreme focus on the little things, I would say. We need to remain calm and composed on the court, especially in the last quarter, because that’s usually our downfall,” the veteran said. “If we play a full forty minutes like we know we can, we should have success,” she added.
The ultimate goal is obvious: to secure a playoff spot. McGarvey thinks that in order for that to happen, there needs to be more consistency. “In the last games of our season, we need to be consistent and focused in order to beat these teams and secure a playoff spot, especially in the second half of close games.”
Both McGarvey and Kirchofer agree that steady second-half play will result in the desired outcome.
Kirchofer and the rest of the seniors, however, have an extra fire under them, as this will be their last season, and they want to go out with a bang. “As a senior, this is do or die. We need to give everything we’ve got, or else it’s all going to be over. That is really pushing us and motivating us because it is our last year and our legacy. We don’t want this to be the end, and that is really motivating us,” Kirchofer detailed.
This team is ready to go and they will be bringing an intense mindset into their next game versus Haverford on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
*All stats as of printing.