NEWTON, Mass. (11/14/16) -- The Lasell College women's basketball team was predicted to finish fourth in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) North Division, according to the annual preseason poll released by the conference office Monday.
The Lasers garnered 36 total points in the annual ranking of the league's head coaches, just four behind third-place Rivier. St. Joseph's (Maine) leads the North Division with 12 first-place votes and 70 total points to earn the No. 1 position, followed by Norwich, Rivier, Lasell, Anna Maria and Simmons.
Johnson & Wales and Emmanuel were separated by just four total points atop the South Division, followed by Suffolk, Albertus Magnus, Mount Ida and St. Joseph (Conn.).
This marks the first season of divisional play in GNAC women's basketball, which will see each team play a 16-game league schedule. Divisional opponents will play each other once at home and once on the road, while crossing over for single games against each South Division foe.
Junior Brianna Hoffman (Milford, N.H.) leads Lasell's returners after posting eight points per game a year ago. The Lasers have big shoes to fill following the graduation of leading scorers Katie Stopera and Deanna Barrett, the only players on last season's 12-win squad to average double figures.
The Lasers open their 2016-17 schedule on Tuesday, November 15 against the Leopards of Wentworth Institute of Technology. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. in the Athletic Center.
2016 GNAC Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Saint Joseph's Maine (10) – 70
2. Norwich (2) – 60
3. Rivier – 40
4. Lasell – 36
5. Anna Maria - 25
6. Simmons - 21
1. Johnson & Wales (8) – 67
2. Emmanuel (4) – 64
3. Suffolk – 43
4. Albertus Magnus – 42
5. Mount Ida – 20
6. St. Joseph CT - 16