While it is always sad to see the season come to an end, the Maroons have the opportunity to finish on a great note with a win against long-time rival Wash U. In their return to their home court after a weekend away in New York and Boston, the South Siders will face off against the Bears in their season finale on Saturday afternoon.
The Maroons have had a solid season up to this point, entering their last game with a 15–9 record and a UAA conference record of 7–6. However, the season will not be as sweet if Chicago cannot pull out a victory this weekend. This game is always marked as the most important of the season. Wash U and Chicago have been rivals ever since the two universities came together to help form the UAA conference in 1986. Every year, the two teams close out their seasons playing each other for bragging rights and usually big conference implications.
Chicago has improved greatly over the season, taking down No. 22 NYU this past weekend in what seems to be their best effort in conference. It is also interesting to note that of Wash U’s two UAA losses, NYU is one of them.
Yet, victory will be no easy task for Chicago as Wash U has proven to be quite the formidable foe this season. The Bears are currently No. 9 in the NCAA Division III rankings. They come to Chicago with a record of 20–4, 11–2 in conference. The Bears also beat the Maroons when they played in St. Louis earlier this year by a margin of 80–63 to kick off UAA play.
Third-year guard Stephanie Anderson knows how hard it is going to be to win this weekend. “Wash U is a very good team and they got the best of us last time. They are ranked and it will be hard to knock them off,” Anderson said. However, Anderson thinks the team has been practicing hard and playing very well lately, winning three straight games. “We have been playing really great basketball the last three games. I think if we continue to play hard and execute the game plan our coaches made we have a good chance of winning on Saturday,” said the guard.
In addition to the rivalry game, this game is important because it also marks the last game for Chicago’s three fourth-years, Caitlin Moore, Paige Womack, and Helen Petersen. A Senior Day ceremony will take place before tip-off on Saturday, and the team knows there is no better way to honor their dedication to the program than a rival victory at home.
“We love our seniors and want to send them out in the right way. Your time goes by fast here and we want them to have the memory of winning their last game,” said Anderson, a third-year who will all too soon be aware of the feeling of Senior Night.
It will be a game to remember at Ratner on Saturday. The game will start at 1 p.m., followed by the men’s game against Wash U at 3 p.m.