The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team improved to 12-0 with a 62-54 win at Franklin & Marshall last night, joining a select group of Mule teams in any sport to begin a season with a dozen wins in a row.
How select is it? The current team is only the third all-time to start off with at least 12 victories.
The all-time record is held by the 1990 field hockey team (below), which won its first 14 games to climb to No. 5 in the national rankings. The streak – and the season – came to a crashing end with a 4-0 loss to No. 2 Messiah in the Middle Atlantic Conference semifinals.
The women’s basketball team started out 13-0 in 2001-02 before suffering a 65-53 loss at Swarthmore. That team also had its season end in the conference semifinals, dropping a 53-52 decision to Western Maryland to finish with a record of 21-4.
Here is a complete list of all the Muhlenberg teams to reach double digits in wins before they lost, with their final records in parentheses:
14-0 Field hockey, 1990 (14-1)
13-0 Women’s basketball, 2001-02 (21-4)
12-0 Women’s basketball, 2011-12 (??)
11-0 Football, 2007 (11-1) Women’s basketball, 2006-07 (19-7) Volleyball, 1993 (20-4) Men’s soccer, 1989 (18-2) Women’s tennis, 1986 (11-1) Men’s basketball, 1944-45 (24-4) Baseball, 1928 (11-0)
10-0 Women’s basketball, 2003-04 (19-7) Men’s soccer, 1987 (16-3-1) Men’s soccer, 1970 (11-2-1)Of these teams, only 2007 football and 1989 men’s soccer won their conference championships, proving that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
One other Muhlenberg team went longer from the start of a season without a loss. Last year, men’s soccer was undefeated in its first 15 games, with a record of 9-0-6, before falling to Swarthmore.
If the women’s basketball team defeats Gettysburg tomorrow, it will tie the program records for best start and longest winning streak. The Mules would also tie the Centennial Conference record for best start in women’s basketball, held jointly by the 2002 Muhlenberg team and the 2010 Gettysburg team.
Incidentally, Gettysburg’s 13-0 start two years ago was broken by a visiting Muhlenberg team on January 14.