As the women’s basketball team begins their 2016-2017 season, impressive defensive goals guide the players. The team hopes to become the top defensive team in the division and in the nation. They are facing strong competition this season, including teams from Messiah College and Albright College, according to head coach Jackie Boswell.
“There is always room for improvement, but our main goal as a team is to have the best defense in practices and in games,” Boswell said. The coach has put together a strong team of players who can endure early morning grinds and long practices in order to strengthen the defensive line.
Players spend a lot of time together before and after these practices, and as sophomore guard Jonyae Curry said, “We bond more after practices because we can sit in the locker room and not have to wonder how hard practice will be.”
During these moments, the team can also talk about their strengths and weaknesses.
With the first non-conference game on Nov. 19 on the road against Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, Boswell wants the team to be ready. Three days later, they will face perennial foe Salisbury University on the road as well.
“The first game is always great because it tests us right away on what we need to focus better on before the first conference game,” she explained. The first conference game will be on Nov. 30 against Albright College, one of the team’s toughest opponents. Stevenson is picked to finish third in the 2016-17 MAC Commonwealth women’s basketball preseason poll behind Messiah (1) and Albright (2). The Mustangs finished in third place at the end of last season, but hope to come out on top this year.
The team will travel to Nashville, Tennessee, in late December to play Carthage College and Lynchburg College in the Music City Classic.
The players are optimistic about the upcoming season and are always thankful for the fan support they receive.
“Stevenson has an excellent student, athlete and alumni base, that no matter how rough the season could be going, everyone still remains positive, helpful and supportive,” said Boswell. A sophomore guard on the team added, “Everyone stays positive no matter what because everyone has an amazing connection with each other to support the Mustangs.”