The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Will the New York Liberty Bring Home the WNBA Championship Title?

New+York+Liberty+at+MSG%0ABy+Jason+Lam+-+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fmesohungry%2F3629347913%2F%2C+%0ACreative+Commons
New York Liberty at MSG By Jason Lam – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mesohungry/3629347913/, Creative Commons

Established in 1997, the New York Liberty is a thriving WNBA franchise that has recently changed the face of women’s sports. Although not previously dominant in the WNBA, the Liberty proved to be a well-crafted and tight-knit team this season. Led by this year’s league’s Most Valuable Player, Breanna Stewart, and all star, Sabrina Ionescu, the New York Liberty has been shown to be an ascendant force in the WNBA, securing the number two seed.

Pregame show of a NY Liberty vs. Chicago Sky regular season game. Photo: Zoe Wasserlauf.

This year, the Liberty were able to select multiple gifted players from the league. Breanna Stewart leads her team with an average of 19.8 points per game and 2.8 blocks. Stewart is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time FIBA Women’s World Cup gold medalist, and two-time WNBA national champion. She joined the New York Liberty this year along with point guard phenom Courtney Vandersloot, who leads the team in assists. Another star player on the team is Sabrina Ionescu, best known for her “Stephen Curry”-like three-pointers because she can shoot from anywhere on the court. Ionescu has brought the wow factor to the Liberty and a growing fan base due to her newly released shoes and clothing line. Despite the New York Liberty having a top-notch lineup, the Las Vegas Aces have also proved to be a challenge in this playoff series, showcasing nothing short of an outstanding team as well. Powerhouse stars like former MVP Aja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, and Kelsea Plum pilot the team and intimidate anyone trying to get in their way. 

This season has been the Liberty’s best, having won 32 games and only losing eight, the Liberty has been on the best run the franchise has ever seen. Apart from a few games, overall, New York has been prominent in the WNBA, going multiple weeks without a loss. Despite New York’s phenomenal season, many still believe there is no doubt the Aces still have the finals in their hands. The reigning champion team and number one seed have a slightly better record than New York, with 34 wins and six losses. The Aces have shown to be a strong force since their national title win last year against the Phoenix Mercury. In regular season games, the Liberty matched up against Las Vegas four times, and split evenly 2-2.

Pregame of a New York Liberty regular season game. Photo: Lucie Shell.

The first finals game of the series took place this past Sunday, October 8th. After being in the lead for most of the game, the Liberty later lost their groove, and the Aces pushed ahead, ending the game with a score of 99-82.  Throughout the game, there was one Liberty player in particular who stood out: Marine Johannes. Johannes, a relatively unknown player, played only 20 minutes but scored 14 of the Liberty’s most crucial points, including a remarkable one-footed three-pointer.  Although unsuccessful at bringing the Liberty back into the game, Johannes displayed how she is a crucial part of the Liberty. According to ESPN, Las Vegas averaged a field goal percentage (the percentage of shots made out of taken shots) of 54.7%, and New York averaged 46.4%. Even though there isn’t much difference in the field goal percentages, the Aces outplayed  the Liberty in game one.

In the second game of the series this past Wednesday, October 11th, the Las Vegas Aces came out electric. The team did not miss a shot, and they were moving the ball incredibly well from the start. Coming out strong, the Aces quickly buried the Liberty who were unable to get back into the game. With every shot New York made, the Aces would make another, proving that this second game was surely going to be a win for Vegas. Their downfall from the start resulted in the Liberty losing their confidence and a quick takeover from the Aces. 

With the stack of talent that the Liberty possesses, there is still a chance for a sensational comeback. Make sure to tune in this Sunday, October 15th, for the third game of the series, either the last game of the WNBA season or the start of New York Liberty’s resurgence.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zoe Wasserlauf, Guest Writer
Zoe Wasserlauf ('27) is a Guest Writer for The Echo. She looks forward to writing about sports, entertainment, and current events. In her free time, Zoe loves to play soccer and basketball, as well as listen to music.