MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's lacrosse team provided several memorable moments throughout the recently completed 2013 campaign.
In doing so, they helped continue to lay a foundation for a program that continues to improve.
"I think this is one of the best teams we've had," Saint Mary's coach Lauren Uhr said. "We've consistently gotten better, but I think other teams in the conference are growing and adding with powerful programs. It's going to continue to be a battle, but I think this team is one of the best we've had out here yet."
Winners of four games, the Gaels did their best work at home this season. A 4-2 record in Moraga meant that home fans got a chance to see Saint Mary's at its best this season.
That trend of strong play at home started with perhaps the most memorable moment of the season.
It came on March 1 against UC Davis, as the Gaels won a thrilling 16-15 decision in overtime against the Aggies. A game that started under a setting sun ended with skies dark, temperatures cold and plenty of celebration as a goal by Jillian Chong with 54 seconds left gave Saint Mary's the victory.
Home crowds would only know success for the next two contests played on the SMC Recreation Field. A 16-7 win over Marquette on a sunny Saturday afternoon kept the streak going, and a 19-2 win over Stetson got the Gaels off to a 3-0 start at home.
The final home victory came in mid-April as the Gaels fought and clawed for a 15-11 win over Fresno State. The victory ensured SMC would finish the season with a winning home record.
Though the Gaels would ultimately not win a game on the road, the improvement continued for a senior-driven squad. Anna Maria Carabini, Chong, Amanda Cross, Holly Hayes (a junior who will graduate early this year), Caroline Mahony, Mariah Walk, and Kathleen Worsdale left their mark on the Gaels both on the field and off.
Cross and junior Rachel Minarovich earned postseason awards, landing spots on the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation second team.
And, the Gaels will return plenty of senior leadership again next season, with nine juniors on this year's squad making their way back to Moraga next year.
With a good foundation set this year, the improvement will likely continue into the future for the Gaels.