Farmingdale State College, who ended last season in 2nd place in the conference and won the ECAC Metro Championship, has been selected to finish third in the Skyline Conference women's basketball coaches' poll. Defending champion Mount Saint Mary College, which captured its seventh consecutive Skyline Conference title last season, has been selected as the preseason favorite once again.
The Blue Knights, who went 25-4 overall and 11-1 in Skyline Conference play under the direction of veteran head coach J. Randall Ognibene, received top billing, but the coaches expect a tight race this season. Stevens Institute of Technology (20-9, 10-2 Skyline), which handed Mount Saint Mary its first-ever Skyline loss last season, was picked second with 51 points. Farmingdale State (20-9, 8-3) and Merchant Marine (15-10, 7-4) were tied for third with 50 points each.
Seniors LaSheena Brown and Annie Cossolini lead Mount Saint Mary in its quest for an eighth straight Skyline Conference title. Brown, who earned Skyline Player of the Year and Tournament MVP honors, averaged 14.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game last season. Cossolini, the Blue Knights' starting point guard, was selected as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Stevens, led by junior forward Dora Enright, returns four starters from last year's squad which tied a school record for wins in a season. Farmingdale returns junior forward Mercedes Miller, the conference's second-leading scorer last year. Merchant Marine, which had no seniors while tying the school record for wins last season, returns all five starters led by Skyline Rookie of the Year Kristen Hetsko.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1. Mount Saint Mary, 62 (7)
2. Stevens, 51
3t. Farmingdale State, 50
3t. Merchant Marine, 50 (2)
5. Old Westbury, 37
6. Manhattanville, 26
7t. Centenary, 19
7t. Mount Saint Vincent, 19
9. St. Joseph's, 10
(First-place votes in parentheses)