For as long as any of us have been at Drexel, the bar for defining any of our sports teams’ seasons as a success has never been set too high. We’ve seldom had a “championship or bust” mentality because none of our teams had ever won a postseason title. Having a great regular-season record and an impressive showing in the postseason has usually been a source of pride for us, even if it ended in a disappointing loss.
However, there was no defeat in sight April 6, as the Drexel women’s basketball team defeated the Utah Utes 46-43 at the Women’s National Invitation Tournament final. The Lady Dragons went down in history as the first Philadelphia Division I women’s basketball team to win a postseason championship, and the Editorial Board would like to speak on behalf of the entire student body in congratulating the women’s basketball team.
The Dragons didn’t win the CAA this year, but they got a second chance when they were chosen for the WNIT tournament, which is one step below the coveted NCAA March Madness games. At a school without an overwhelming amount of school spirit and minimal media attention, it’s refreshing to see our school in the spotlight. We don’t have a football team, and our basketball teams don’t typically make it into the NCAA tournament. But by the time the girls played the WNIT championship game, they were the only Philadelphia collegiate basketball team–men or women’s–still competing, which is something worth praising.
A WNIT win is exciting for any team, but there’s a special sense of pride when the underdog is victorious. A school that doesn’t get to taste championship wins as often as Notre Dame or Duke truly appreciates and savors the moment. The Drexel Dragons would never take a championship win for granted, because the team put their hearts and souls into the tournament, also defeating Iona, Harvard, Bowling Green, Auburn and Florida.
The Lady Dragons aren’t the only ones deserving of this win. A special thanks also goes out to the dedicated fans who stuck with the Dragons the entire season. Devotion and encouragement are all factors in a championship win, two things that the sea of blue and yellow in the bleachers provided to the Dragons the entire season, cheering until the end, even when a loss was inevitable.
It was a picture perfect moment as the fans rushed the court to congratulate the new champions. Fans will always remember how surreal it was to be standing in the DAC watching history be made as their Lady Dragons were presented with the WNIT championship trophy. The Lady Dragons showed their appreciation of the fans’ countless cheers by giving them the trophy to hoist victoriously into the air.
As exciting as this win is for the Lady Dragons and the Drexel community, we can only hope this draws more fans to attend the women’s regular season games next year. This year fans were adamant about the men’s team going all the way after last year’s NCAA snub, and it showed at each home game. But the women didn’t garner the same crowd until they made it into the postseason.
Even though the season’s over, the net’s cut down and the trophy will soon be displayed in a glass case somewhere, let’s all remember this when next season rolls around. The women’s basketball team is the ones who went all the way this year, so let’s use this championship momentum to support them from the start next year. Congratulations, Dragons!