PHILADELPHIA – Having won four of its last five games, the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad (6-5, 2-1 A-10) will host a pair of Atlantic 10 opponents this weekend, beginning with VCU (5-7, 1-3 A-10) at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. The Hawks have won back-to-back games played on Hawk Hill while the Rams are 0-2 in A-10 play away from Cary Street Field.
Saint Joseph's will then host La Salle (6-6, 2-2) on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Currently on a two-game winning streak, the Explorers will host UMass on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. before heading over to Hawk Hill for Saturday's match-up.
In returning the 2016 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in sophomore midfielder Rebecca Lane, two A-10 First Team picks in senior attacker Nora McCallion and senior midfielder Maggie Egan, and 99.4 percent of the offense from a Hawks squad that reached the A-10 semifinals last season, Saint Joseph's was predicted to finish third in the A-10 this spring, as voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches and announced on February 3. VCU was predicted to finish 10th, while La Salle took the seventh spot in the preseason poll.
Currently, Saint Joseph's ranks fourth in the league standings. VCU is tied for seventh with George Washington, while La Salle sits tied for fifth with Davidson. The top six teams make the A-10 postseason, to be hosted on Hawk Hill from May 4-7.
On Thursday, Saint Joseph's offense, which averages 13.27 goals per game on a league-best 24.36 shots on goal per game, will go up against VCU goalkeeper Ria Peralta, who leads the league in total saves (123) and ranks second in saves per game (10.25).
Saturday's game will see the Hawks' defensive unit face Allee Ilgenfritz, La Salle's leading scorer that leads the A-10 in shots per game (6.75) and shots on goal per game (5.33) and ranks second in the league in total goals (36) and goals per game (5.33). The Explorers have also fared well on the defensive end and lead the conference in ground balls per game (22.17).
SERIES HISTORY (VCU)
Thursday's game will mark the second all-time meeting between Saint Joseph's and second-year program VCU, and the first on Sweeney Field. Led by Nora McCallion’s six-point day, the Hawks defeated the Rams, 15-4, in Richmond last spring.
SERIES HISTORY (LA SALLE)
Saturday’s game will mark the 20th all-time meeting between Saint Joseph’s and La Salle. The Hawks own a 12-7 all-time series advantage and are 1-1 under the direction of third-year head coach Alex Kahoe. Returning defenders Kate Payne and Catie Vivian held La Salle’s offensive unit to just one first-half goal, and five total, in SJU’s 11-5 win last spring. Saint Joseph’s is 10-2 all-time when playing La Salle at home.
All-Time Series Results:
2016 - W - 11-5 - Away
2015 - L - 17-6 - Home
2014 - L - 9-4 - Away
2013 - W - 13-10 - Home
2012 - L - 11-3 - Away
2011 - W - 7-6 - Home
2010 - L - 9-8 (OT) - Away
2009 - W - 16-6 - Home
2008 - W - 11-9 - Home
2007 - W - 14-7 - Home
2006 - W - 13-10 - Home
2005 - L - 15-6 - Away
2004 - W - 11-10 - Home
2003 - L - 11-8 (OT) - Away
2002 - L - 12-7 - Home
2001 - W - 12-11 - Home
2000 - W - 16-12 - Away
1999 - W - 12-9 - Home
1998 - W - 9-7 - Home
ABOUT THE HAWKS
The Hawks dropped four of their first six games of the season, with wins over American (15-7) and Cal (18-17) and losses to Temple (14-13), Villanova (11-10), San Diego State (13-12), and then-#19/16 Duke (16-10) before winning three in a row against Mount St. Mary's (12-11), Wagner (13-8), and Davidson (10-4), in the season opener. The Hawks suffered a 24-14 setback at UMass but went on to put up a season-high 19 scores in a 19-7 win over Duquesne this past Sunday.
Senior attacker Nora McCallion (28g, 12a) leads the Hawks in points while sophomore midfielder Rebecca Lane owns 34 points on 18g and a team-high 16 assists and freshman attacker Hope Anhut owns 32 points on a team-high 29 goals.
Graduate student midfielder Mallory Grey has been a force on both ends of the field, leading the team in draw controls (38) and ranking in SJU's top six in ground balls (15), caused turnovers (8), goals (10), assists (7), and points (17). Junior midfielder Dana Garbinski (22gb) and junior defender Kristen Kelbon (20gb) have combined for nearly a quarter of SJU's total ground balls while sophomore midfielder Hayley Sabol's 15 caused turnovers are a team-best.
Senior Amelia Deibler (5-4, 2-1 A-10) has seen all but 2:37 of the last 540:00 between the pipes and sports a 12.39 goals against average and .406 save percentage on 259 shots faced.
The Rams (5-7, 1-3 A-10) dropped three of their first four to start the season with back-to-back losses to Old Dominion (10-7) and UMBC (20-10), a 14-10 win over Campbell, and a 19-7 loss to Winthrop before winning three of their next four with victories over Gardner Webb (19-7) and Central Michigan (15-9), a 16-6 loss to Lehigh, and a 21-12 win over Liberty. VCU then opened A-10 play with a 19-8 loss to UMass, a 13-10 win over Duquesne, and back-to-back losses to La Salle (15-11) and George Mason (19-8).
Sky Hyatt (27g, 13), Jessica Del Rossi (25g, 3a), Molly Barcikowski (13g, 37a), and Keriann McTavish (24g, 18a) bolster VCU's offense; Hyatt posted six points (3g, 3a) last time out vs. George Mason while Del Rossi put six away in the Rams' win over Duquesne. Ria Peralta (5-7, 1-3 A-10) sports a 13.90 goals against average and .439 save percentage in 677:51, all but 42:09 on the season.
SCOUTING LA SALLE
The Explorers (6-6, 2-2 A-10) went 4-4 in non-conference action with a season-opening win over Manhattan (13-7), back-to-back losses to Sacred Heart (15-12) and Temple (13-10), a 20-18 win over Stetson, a one-goal, 14-13 loss to Campbell, back-to-back wins over Central Connecticut State (12-7) and Iona (10-9), and a 17-11 loss to High Point. La Salle then opened A-10 play with a pair of losses to George Mason (15-8) and Richmond (18-8) before turning it around to win its most recent two outings, against VCU (15-11) and George Washington (13-11), last Friday and Sunday.
Allee Ilgenfritz (36g, 12a), Toni Massetti (32g, 7a), and Brittany Edwards (25g, 8a) own 30+ points to lead La Salle's offense; 19 combined goals from Ilgenfritz and Massetti have been free position scores. Three Explorers have split time in net, and both Lynne Frankel (4-6) and Kaitlyn Re (2-0) own W/L decisions. Re has seen the last 93:37 in net, earning her two wins in the last two contests.