Gaitley, Cavanaugh, Goulding Rake in BCANY Honors


Fordham Women’s Basketball head coach Stephanie Gaitley was just one of several BCANY award recipients. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Jimmy Sullivan

The awards haven’t stopped pouring in for Fordham Women’s Basketball’s stellar 2018-19 campaign.

Head coach Stephanie Gaitley has been named Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) after her team won the Atlantic 10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Rams won 25 games this past season, which included a share of the team’s first-ever Atlantic 10 regular season title with Virginia Commonwealth University; Fordham beat VCU in the Atlantic 10 championship game on March 10.

“I want to thank the BCANY for such a wonderful honor,” Gaitley told Fordham Athletics. “I’m humbled and thankful to be named the BCANY 2019 Coach of the Year. … I’ve always admired their commitment to the young men and women in the sport of basketball.”

In spite of suffering a key loss in G’Mrice Davis, who was a consistent double-double producer for the Rams, Gaitley’s team did not miss a beat last season. Fordham brought back three of its five starters from the previous year – guards Lauren Holden (senior) and Bre Cavanaugh (redshirt sophomore), as well as senior forward Mary Goulding – and was able to rise to the top of a talented Atlantic 10 conference. Gaitley and her staff are known to place a heavy emphasis on tough defense, and that’s what her team did by allowing just over 54 points per game throughout the season. The Rams struggled on that end in out-of-conference play, but steadily improved throughout January and February as the conference slate rolled on.

Gaitley was not the only member of the team to receive recognition for an exceptional season. Cavanaugh was named the BCANY Player of the Year after averaging just over 17 points, six rebounds and two-and-a-half assists on the season. Goulding also got in on the fun, making the BCANY’s second team in which she averaged around 13 points and eight rebounds per game while shooting just shy of 48% from the field. Both players were named to the Atlantic 10’s First Team at the end of the regular season, while Goulding was named the Atlantic 10 tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging nearly 21 points and seven rebounds in the team’s three victories.

Goulding graduated in May and is now playing overseas in Australia with the Rockhampton Cyclones of the Australia State League. Cavanaugh, on the other hand, will be returning to Fordham for her third year with the program next season and will look to add to an impressive two-year resume that includes two all-Atlantic 10 selections, two WNIT victories, an Atlantic 10 championship and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Fordham will look to repeat in 2018-19 performance starting in November. Gaitley is not taking it easy with the out-of-conference schedule, booking teams like Notre Dame, Georgetown and Villanova, among others, before Atlantic 10 play begins after the new year. The team will have some turnover to overcome; in addition to the graduations of Holden, Goulding and graduate transfer Alexa Giuliano, the staff lost assistant coach Ang Szumilo, who was named the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University in late April. To replace Szumilo, the team hired Colgate assistant coach Candice Green to the same position.

Fordham Women’s Basketball will have something of a new look in the fall, but many important pieces will return. With Gaitley and Cavanaugh still in place, there is nothing to suggest that the Rams won’t be able to compete for another conference championship.

If they do, they can win more awards like the ones they acquired this spring.