Mount St. Mary’s ranked 67th out of 67 Division I programs in offense and points per game and 66th in assists per game and scoring margin. But the number that resonated most with coach Tom Gravante was the team’s 1-15 record in 2014.
“This was one of my toughest seasons,” said Gravante, whose previous worst mark in 20 years as a head coach was a 2-12 record in 2008. “I think I posted two or three wins once before. But to go 1-15, this is a tough year, a real tough year. You don’t want to expect something like this or anticipate something like this, but under the circumstances of graduating 22 young men last year and not having a lot of experience coming back, we were hopeful and we battled, but it became what it was.”
A 9-5 victory over Northeast Conference foe Wagner on April 19 helped the Mountaineers of joining first-year program Monmouth as the only winless teams in Division I. Gravante acknowledged that a 14-game losing streak to open the season began to weigh on the players.
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“You could see it,” he said. “Zero-and-14 is a really frustrating season. As a coaching staff, we did the best we could to alleviate the pressure and frustration. We said, ‘Let’s not make excuses. Let’s find the answers to overcome this adversity and push forward.’”
Despite the frustration, Gravante said the players continued to impress him with their commitment to practicing hard and working to end the skid.
“Our job as a coaching staff was not to find excuses, but to help these young men find answers and battle adversity, and that’s what we did,” he said. “We approached every game like we were 0-0.”