The 2010-11 season and beyond looks bright for the St. Lawrence University women's basketball team as it not only has many new faces, but talent and depth. Ranked second in the Liberty League Preseason Coaches' Poll, Head Coach Dan Roiger's squad returns five players - including four starters - and a talented group of newcomers.
"Our first few practices indicate we have improved our roster tremendously in terms of depth, size, athleticism, and skill," said Coach Dan Roiger. "Our goal for this year is to keep improving. The success of this season and the future will depend on the consistency of our starters and the learning curve of our first-years."
St. Lawrence returns four starters, including last season's two top scorers - juniors Casey Capello and Katherine Edgerton - who led a young Saint squad in its "rebuilding" season to an 18-7 record and a second place Liberty League finish with a 10-4 record.
Capello will be called upon to assume her role as a leading scorer. A Liberty League First Team selection, she was fourth in the league in scoring and led the Saints with 357 points, averaging 14.3 per game. The Hanover, MA native was dangerous behind the arc as she led the league in three-point percentage with .378.
Edgerton was also a primary contributor last year as she was the team's second leading scorer with 262 points, averaging 11.9 per game, good for 12th in the conference. She proves versatile as she can knock down the outside jumper as well as put the ball on the floor, beating defenders to the basket. The Shelburne, VT native was also key at the free-throw line, finishing fourth in the conference in free-throw percentage (82%). She finished eighth in the league in steals and tenth in offensive rebounds, as well.
Both Capello and Edgerton have assumed the leadership role as they were named co-captains of the 2010-11 Saints. Coach Roiger expects great things from Capello and Edgerton once again this season, as the duo has brought a new level of intensity to the floor as captains. They continue to lead the young team into the start of the season, being more vocal and holding their teammates accountable.
Also returning for the Saints is point guard Iris Santoni, and forwards Erica Spera and Elizabeth Dwyer. Santoni will again have a steady presence leading the team at point guard. Last season, she was ranked fourth on the team in points scored, averaging 9.4 per game. The Northampton, MA native did a great job at finding the open person as she was fourth in the league in assists, dishing out 78.
Spera, the lone sophomore, is coming off a solid rookie season, starting in all 25 games for the Saints. The Binghamton, NY native had a strong presence on the boards, as she recorded 127 rebounds and created many second-chance opportunities for the Saints. She also racked up 21 assists, 22 steals and 16 blocks.
Dwyer, a junior, saw action coming off the bench for the Saints in 22 games. The Beverly, MA was a defensive contributor, collecting 44 rebounds, seven steals and five blocked shots over the course of the season.
The Saints welcome ten first-years to the 2010-11 squad, guards Lindsay Hanson, Hannah Wilson, Cassie St. Hilaire, Kathleen McCallops, Casey Koch, Allison Paludi and Katie Murray, and forwards Kelly Legg, Jill Emmighausen and Katie Abramski.
The new additions provide athleticism, as well as a solid team atmosphere. Coach Roiger described the class of 2014 as being "hungry" and having a "phenomenal work ethic".
"We are much deeper than we were and we are working much harder than we were," Coach Roiger added. "If we can continue this pace, there is no ceiling for this young team."
The Saints will open up their 2010-11 season November 17th against Potsdam State in Potsdam. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.