Commitment to Defense


By Kerrigan Fox Coyle ‘15


There are always cliche quotes thrown around in sports, and most of them translate from sport to sport. In order for something to become cliche it has to be correct or true at some point in time. “Defense wins championships”, from basketball, to football, to even baseball, its true in all sports.

In their last four games the Dolphins have allowed more than 73 points each time and have lost each game. Before the teams current losing streak, they won six games in a row, only allowing 64 points per game. On average the team has allowed more than 14 points per game between their winning streak and their losing streak. The Dolphins have scored about 8 points less on average during this four game stretch. They are not making up for their lack of defense on the offensive side so that is why the Dolphins have not added to their win column.

In order to fix this inequality, the team will have to score more points or/and allow less. The next opportunity to do so will be on Tuesday, Feb. 10 against the University of New Haven, the game will occur two days after this article is published. The next game to pay attention to is the Upstate Challenge against the College of Saint Rose on Saturday Feb 14th.

Will the Lady Phins look to score more points, or allows less? Coach Gina Castelli has been making enough substitutions and line-up changes to make Coach Steve Evans blow steam out of his ears. There were 11 different players who saw the court against Southern Conn. State, a 73-67 loss. So if Coach Castelli makes some changes to the starting line-up, don’t look surprised, because in order to change the outcomes of games,a change in personnel is required. A change in point guard and center might be the first ones to come.

Junior guard Maggie Brown would argue her team has to do more of both when it comes to offense and defense.

“We have talked about having more movement on offense as well as being physical and getting stops on the defensive end.”  An example of this is when Coach Castelli calls for more pressure or a trap play while on defense off the inbound pass. When run correctly the added pressure to inbound the ball leads to more turnovers and to more points because it gives the Dolphins more possessions.”

What allowed for the Dolphins to make a 16 point halftime lead into a four point lead late in the second second was the added pressure. Most of the added energy and pressure on defense comes from Brown and her junior classmate Lauren Salzbrenner.

The Dolphins looked ready to steal the lead in the last two minutes of the game against Southern Conn. State but failed to attempt and make any three point shots during the final two minutes.  Shooting less than 27% from beyond the three point arc is not the winning recipe for the Dolphins.

Once there are five players who make the commitment to play hard on defense, that will be the time the Dolphins get back on track. Until then, they better score more points because at least “offense sells seats”.