Junior Mary Louise Dixon is a co-captain this season after earning All-Northeast-10 honors as a sophomore. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)
BY Jim Fenton
Brockton Enterprise Staff Writer
With so many underclassmen, the Skyhawks struggled with consistency and finished with the program's first losing record at 13-14.
"We had some great performances at times last season,'' said coach Trisha Brown, "but we just didn't sustain it because of our youth. We just have to be more consistent.''
Stonehill is hoping the experience that was picked up along the way by those young players will translate into more wins this season.
The Skyhawks open their schedule on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. by hosting Saint Anselm College in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at Merket Gym. That will be followed by the Stonehill Tip-Off Tournament with games on Friday night against Goldey-Beacom College and Saturday afternoon against Caldwell College.
Brown, now in her 12th season, does not have a senior on the roster this year. The captains are Dixon and Ewing, juniors who have been in the rotation since they were freshmen in 2010-11.
Junior Asia Ewing will also captain this year's squad which doesn't suit up a senior. (PHOTO BY Gil Talbot)
"It's a challenge not having any seniors,'' said Brown, "but the good part is these players have experience. M.L. and Asia have done a good job as captains. They have played a lot since freshman year and are playing like seniors.''
Dixon, a point guard, made the All-NE-10 third team last season when she averaged 13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals.
"When Emily Rousseau got hurt two years ago, M.L. stepped in and started as a freshman (for 15 games) and that really helped her maturity,'' said Brown. "Defensively, I have seen her make a big transition this year as far as guarding the ball.''
Ewing, a forward, averaged 10.9 points, a team-best 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season. She made 12 starts as a freshman in 2010-11, averaging 7.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Faieta, a forward who averaged 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds returns to the starting lineup and will be joined by sophomore guard Jamie Panton and freshman guard Paige Marshall, who brings size and defense to the backcourt and can play point guard.
Pelletier, who averaged 8.7 points, will be coming off the bench to start the season and will be in the second unit with sophomore Ashley Gendron, who has moved from guard to the frontcourt, and junior forward Morghan Farnsworth, who is currently injured.
"We're excited about this year,'' said Brown, whose team is picked to finish eighth in the NE-10. "We are still young, but as far as game experience, we have a lot of that. Everyone has worked hard in the offseason and in training camp. Everyone is a year older and there is a lot of competitiveness.
"I think offensively we'll be taking a step forward and be able to score in the post with Tori. But the biggest step forward has been our defense. Our team defense is better and it has to be for us to be successful.
Stonehill plays six of its first seven games at home, traveling only to UMass Lowell in the opening three weeks of the season.