Despite young team, Leyden still expects hard work and success

Lady Rams only returning two upperclassmen

Article By: Alex Mellion

Coming off of a 14-12 season, the Suffolk women’s basketball team has high hopes for this coming year and hopes to continue the success that head coach Ed Leyden has experienced since first coming to Suffolk in 1994.

In his 14 years as the Suffolk coach, Leyden has had only three seasons where the team finished with an under .500 record (the 1994-95 season, the 1996-97 season, and the 2002-03 season). Leyden expects the team to have another good season after a relatively disappointing season last year.

“Last year, we lost four games by three points or less,” Leyden said. “We feel that if we work hard and play solid as a team, then the wins will take care of themselves.”

The Lady Rams will have to count on an inexperienced roster to lead them to success this season. The roster has only two seniors, as the rest of the girls on the team are either freshmen or sophomores.

“Senior Mara Dreiser has blended in beautifully, she is both athletic and versatile, and fellow senior Laura Thompson has set a supportive tone as captain,” Leyden said. “Sophomores Julie Conrad, Kristie Hayner, Mary Garon and Andorra Salaices are also much improved and have benefited from practicing and playing last year.”

Leyden also mentioned freshmen Jackie Vienneau and Lindsey Rodgers as players who will be counted on to help the team this season.

The Lady Rams have gotten off to a 2-2 start, losing to Montclair State and Hamilton at the Emerson College Tip-Off Tournament, while beating Salve Regina and Colby-Sawyer. The team won’t start the in-conference portion of its schedule until after the new year, with the first GNAC game coming on Jan. 9 at Simmons College.
The Lady Rams are one of the youngest teams in the GNAC, and whether that will help them or hurt their chances of being successful remains to be seen.

“We are new and we are a work in progress, but it’s not an excuse to lose,” said Leyden. “We expect to be ready for the GNAC schedule and have every intention of playing into the second day of the GNAC tournament.”

The Lady Rams start a busy week tonight with a game at Endicott College at 7 p.m., followed by another road game at Curry College on Thursday at 7 p.m. The team’s next home game is on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Lesley.