March 1, 2005
In American women's basketball's fourth season in the Patriot League, the Eagles are hoping they can continue a trend that has followed through AU's first three years: Each season, AU makes it one step further in the PL Tournament. In 2002, AU lost in the first round. In 2003, AU made an appearance in round two. Last season, the Eagles made it to the title tilt, but lost. Perhaps this season could be "the season," in which AU makes it to its first-ever NCAA Tournament.
However, it won't be easy. The fourth-seeded Eagles open up versus five seed Navy, a team that has already defeated American twice this season, including in the last regular season game.
The old adage goes: Never say never. However, American University women's basketball has never lost to a Patriot League team three times in one season. Today, Navy has a chance to become the first team to do that. The Midshipmen captured both regular season games, including the season finale in Annapolis, Md.
That loss may give the Eagles motivation, given that AU would have captured the third seed in the PL Tournament and a trip to Bethlehem, Pa., with a win over the Mids. Instead, American makes the long trek up to Worcester, Mass. That fact makes the Eagles' prospects of winning a PL title even more daunting. Even if they defeat a Navy team that's already beaten them twice, they would have to face Holy Cross in the second round on its home floor. American has beaten the Crusaders just once, and never in Worcester.