BOSTON, MA (NEWS10) — The University at Albany women’s basketball team has been picked to finish the league on top in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league announced Wednesday. In addition, returning stat leaders senior Helene Haegerstrand and junior Kayla Cooper were picked to lead the conference as a part of the Preseason All-Conference Team.

Haegerstrand returns after leading the Great Danes in scoring (11.8 points per game and a .384 three-point percentage) while Cooper returns with her team-highs in rebounds (7.2 rebounds per game, 84 offensive and 153 defensive total).

As a team, the Great Danes earned 59 points with seven first-place votes to land in first place just one year after being picked fifth. The returning America East Champions are followed by the 2021-22 AE Regular Season Champions, Maine, with 54 points.

The remaining two first-place votes went to Vermont and Binghamton. The Wildcats totaled 46 points for third while the Bearcats totaled 39 points for fifth place. NJIT sits in the middle of them with 42 points for fourth.

The conference is rounded out by UMass Lowell (27), New Hampshire (21), Bryant (21), and UMBC (15) with their respective point totals.

UAlbany’s season opener is scheduled for November 11 against Merrimack. For more about the 2021-22 schedule and how to buy tickets, click here.

2022-23 America East Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll

No.        School                  Points (1st Place Votes)

1.           UAlbany                                            59 (7)

2.           Maine                                                54 

3.           Vermont                                           46 (1)

4.           NJIT                                                    42

5.           Binghamton                                     39 (1)

6.           UMass Lowell                                  27

T-7.        New Hampshire                              21

T-7.        Bryant                                               21

9.           UMBC                                                15

2022 America East Women’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team

Name                                                              School                 Yr.          Pos.

Denai Bowman                                              Binghamton       Sr.          Guard

Kayla Cooper                                                  UAlbany              Jr.           Guard

Helene Haegerstrand                                   UAlbany              Sr.          Forward

Anna Olsen                                                     Vermont             Jr.           Forward

Anne Simon                                                    Maine                  Sr.          Guard

Emma Utterback                                           Vermont             Sr.          Guard