On Thursday, the women of Fairfield open the new season at home against Long Island University. Quinnipiac will get its ball rolling on Sunday at Stony Brook.
Optimism surrounds both seasons, particularly at Quinnipiac, which has moved steadily under coach Dave Clarke toward the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, reaching the championship game in 2016 and finishing in second place in the spring.
Fairfield, also a playoff team during the condensed spring season, returns most of its key players as it looks to climb.
As the new season begins, here’s a look at the top storylines and players to watch.