FORT KENT, Me (WAGM) - The University of Maine Fort Kent women's basketball team is full of change this year. The team only returns a few players and Fletcher Brown is the new coach.
"We're a young team, we got a lot of new faces, including myself. I'm new to the program, it's my first year. I'm optimistic. We got a lot of people with good heads on their shoulders. So I'm remaining optimistic going forward," Brown said.
Brown replaces Daniel Johnson and says that defense will be the teams calling card.
"Playing good defense and buying into playing team defense. All five people on the same page defensively. It allows you to not shoot well and still put yourself in a position to win at the end of the game. That's something I'm going to try to ingrain in their minds is defense is going to win for us," he explained.
On offense the Bengals are experimenting with a few things to try to make up for a lack of height on the roster.
"I think that running a stretch four this season is going to be very effective. We don't have to many tall girls on the team, maybe two. I think him influencing the guards this season will work well for us," said senior Marina Koloamatangi.
The team is hoping to make it nationals after not being invited last season.
"It's a little more pressure, but I'm excited. I think our team is going to do way better than last year. I hope we make it to nationals this time. We have some pretty good pieces coming in, we just have to put them together," added senior Bianca Gutierrez.
A tough schedule lies ahead for the Bengals. The road to the nationals won't be an easy one, but Brown hopes the tough stretch early on will make the team stronger at the end of the season.
"We're going to be tested very early. We have two division one teams within our first six games. Two division three teams that regularly go to the NCAA DIII tourney. It's either going to make us or break us I think. But, then again our athletic director at UMFK says it's not how you start, it's how you finish," Brown said.