This is a big year for St. Francis College in Brooklyn. It is celebrating its 160th year of existence and 50 years as a coed institution. Women’s basketball debuted in 1973, and hopefully some of those early players have an opportunity to check out the current Terriers. New head coach Linda Cimino is excited by the team’s potential and is aiming for a return to postseason play.

“Working with some great people. We have a great staff,” said Cimino, who was named head coach in May 2018. “Irma Garcia, the athletic director, is the reason I came. She’s phenomenal to work under and she’s been a mentor of mine. I think we can do great things here and continue to build on the foundation.”

“I’m loving it,” she added. “I’m having fun in Brooklyn.”

Cimino said that St. Francis women’s basketball, which is currently 10–8 overall and 4–2 in Northeast Conference play, is aiming for a top three finish in the conference. That will set them up for a home playoff game.

“We’ve got the pieces. Now we’ve got to continue to build on the pieces,” said Cimino. “Really happy with how hard the kids are playing. They’ve really bought into our system and they continue to play hard every single game. We’re watching kids improve right in front of our eyes.”

Two standout players are freshman guard Ebony Horton, from England, and graduate student guard Dominique Ward, from Trenton, N.J. Ward previously played three seasons at the University of Rhode Island. Horton is a starter and currently the team’s third leading scorer.

“Those two young women have really changed the dynamic of our program already,” Cimino said. “Making us more athletic and faster.”

Cimino said based on Horton’s strong performance and positive attitude toward Brooklyn, her coaching staff is starting to do more international recruiting. This aligns nicely with the college’s increased international outreach.

“We want kids that want to come to the city and play for us,” said Cimino. “We’re about family here.”

This is an exciting time in St. Francis’ athletic department. Two sports have been added—women’s soccer and men’s volleyball—and will debut in the 2019-20 school year.

“Everybody is excited about adding programs and bringing in students,” said Cimino, who is developing relationships with local high schools and AAU programs. “It shows you the school is committed to athletics.”