Posted by T.S.
2/27/2011- After Saturday’s narrow victory against Southern Oregon, the 22nd ranked Gaels are moving in the right direction this season, again. With an impressive 6-2 record, both losses coming against ranked opponents, SMC hopes to recapture it’s charm it held last year as it captured the WCLL championship against UCSC. Although the Gaels are making things look easy this season, outscoring opponents 102-45, this has not always been the case in the recent past. In fact it was only four seasons ago when the Gaels saw themselves at the bottom of the division with a lowly record of 2-10 overall. Yet three year coach, and 2010 WCLL Coach of the Year, Colin Knightly has guided the program to compete as national contenders.
Knightly took reins over the program in 2009, the same year the Gaels went from Division I to Division II. This moved proved pivotal to the success of the program as their first year in the conference they were honored with 2009 WCLL Runner-up, just behind UCSC. The next season the Gaels improved to an 11-4 record, their first season with a winning percentage over .500 in over 5 years, and captured the WCLL crown with a convincing 9-5 win over conference foe UCSC.
As the 2011 season kicked off, the Gaels were nationally recognized as a ‘Top 23’ team according to MCLA magazine and challenged themselves with a rigorous road trip to start the season falling to #11 Kennesaw State 10-8, and #12 SCAD 10-7. With the Gaels atop the conference standings at 2-0, the road will not get any easier as they take on #14 Cal State Fullerton, a match featuring California’s top ranked DII teams in the nation. The action is set to take place on March 13, at 12:00PM at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and should be an instant classic for the for the 2011 season.