Mount St. Mary's enjoying recent run
After opening the season with back-to-back losses, Mount St. Mary’s has won three consecutive games, marking the first time since 2005 that the program is enjoying a three-game winning streak.
The recent turn of success is surprising considering the Mountaineers’ losses to then-No. 3 Virginia and first-year Division I program Jacksonville – with the latter inciting some harsh criticism from coach Tom Gravante.
"They reacted as I hoped they would," Gravante said. "We put them under pressure to perform, earn back their spots, and bring more poise and maturity to practice. Some of that was asking them to play angry, and they responded, which I’m very happy and pleased about. I don’t think they were very focused up until that point. I think that Jacksonville game – unfortunately – demonstrated how they practiced, which was they were hot and cold. My comments weren’t pretty. … But that wasn’t what they were capable of doing. I stuck to my words, and I’m happy to say that they responded, and here we are."
Mount St. Mary’s has relied on an offense that has outscored previously unbeaten Robert Morris and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes Canisius and Wagner by a combined 44-24. It’s the first time since 2005 that the team has recorded 10 goals or more in three straight contests.
The Mountaineers have been especially prolific in the second quarter, outscoring their last three opponents, 15-5, in that frame. That’s a pleasant statistic, but Gravante would like to see that momentum shift to the first quarter.
"We’re having slow starts, and I’m trying to fight through that with them," he said. "… The second quarter is the quarter when they’re starting to get the machine rolling, but against better teams, we can’t afford that down time. We’ve got to start right from the first whistle. It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s great that your team can persevere through a 6-2 deficit against Robert Morris and get it going, but if you spot better teams goals, you’re not going to catch up. They’re not going to let you back in. We have to have a good start."