Niagara Gazette

Sports

February 24, 2013

NU, coach deliver in different forms

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "We've been fully preparing for it as the season has gone on," Gatto said. "We have to keep taking care of business. Regardless of whether Coach Faustin is here, we have to win."

The Purple Eagles (14-13, 9-7) are feeling good about themselves after winning five of seven February games and rising to fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings. They are getting contributions from several different players, making them less reliant on all-conference point guard Kayla Stroman than they have been in season's past.

"We're in a really good spot and we're starting to gel and come together," Gatto said. "Things are really starting to flow."

Faustin will be out indefinitely after Wednesday, but hasn't yet ruled out being in Springfield for the MAAC tournament.

"If I feel like I can coach, I will go. If I feel like I can't coach, then I won't go," she said. "Same as if a player tweaks their ankle. You can either play or you can't. We don't want a half effort. And I don't want to give our team a half effort."

Doctors told Faustin after her last pregnancy that she would not be able to have any more children. Suffice to say, she didn't plan to put her team through this sort of March madness. But it has given the coach and her players a lesson on how to handle the unexpected in life.

"I didn't think I could get pregnant again, so this is the most amazing blessing ever," she said. "It just comes at a difficult time of year, being torn between my Niagara family and a pretty awesome thing for my family."

"It's been great to watch her be able to do it all," Gatto said. "Not for one second does she slack because she's pregnant or she has a baby at home. When she is here, she is all here. She has been all-in 100 percent.

"She has proved the strength of what a woman can do."

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