Another season means another opportunity for success.

Keene State College’s women’s basketball team is setting goals to make success a reality. The women’s team ended their 2013-14 season at .500, with a 13-13 record, finishing sixth in the Little East Conference.

With new faces and many familiar ones, nearly every player is determined to get to the Little East Conference Championship game.

Kelsey Santagata, first year guard, said, “The team made it really easy to transition into [this year’s] season.”

Keith Boucher is in his 25th season as head coach of the women’s team.

Kyle Bailey /  Photo Editor

Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

“The difference [this season] is that we are a little bit older and we have a good balance of veterans and younger players. But overall, there is no big difference. Hopefully just a year older and a little wiser,” Boucher said.

This season’s team has three seniors; Christan Wojtas (guard/forward), Nikki Stacy (guard/forward) and Courtney Roberts (forward).

There are four first years on the 2014-2015 team looking to make an impact during their first year at KSC; Sandi Purcell (guard), Bridget Keaton (forward), Lydia Vital (guard), Kelsey Santagata (forward).

For freshman guard, Sandi Purcell, the excitement of the new season was enough to get her ready to be the best she could be with her time on the floor.

“I was so nervous coming in to the new season as a freshman, not really knowing who anyone was,” Purcell said.

She also added that, “It is a lot more serious [than when I played in high school.] Everyone here has a passion for the game.”

The practices so far this season consist of upbeat drills, scrimmaging and a walkthrough of their opponent the day before a big game. “The team has been really clicking with each other, and I didn’t expect it to feel like a family so fast,” Purcell said.

The team goes through a long and arduous season, playing some of the Little East Conference’s best teams, including Rhode Island College and University of Southern Maine (USM). In the 2013-2014 season, KSC beat USM in overtime.

For games like this, the women’s coach, Keith Boucher, tells his team that they need “mental focus,” according to Purcell.

“He tells us that we can outrun a team, and we may be more physically ready than they are, but if we are not mentally prepared and focused, or emotionally in the game, we will not be able to rise above our opponents,” Purcell said.

With four wins and two losses the team has created a saying to keep their heads up after a loss.

“Don’t give up, don’t worry about mistakes, and move on and learn from them,” Santagata said.

Coach Boucher said he lives by his simple philosophy and gives his team advice; “Set standards and live by them every day. The more consistent you are on and off the court the more success you will achieve. Pretty simple but that’s about it. Winning, ultimately, is striving to do your best in everything you do every day.”

The Owls will be tested in their conference and non-conference games, featuring 12 home games and fifteen away games.

“In order to make it to playoffs this year, we have to play to our full potential and keep playing at our skill level,” Purcell said.

The Owls have two upcoming games: UMass Boston on Dec. 6, and University of Southern Maine, an inter-conference rival, on Dec. 13.

Mary Curtin can be contacted at

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