Saint Joseph's Hawks
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Hoover: Hope

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Today was an emotional day for the SJUFH Hawks. Today we honored the four seniors. Being one of those seniors today, I could not stop smiling! We had such an amazing crowd, a great pump-up from the underclassmen, and so much support from the athletic department along with our coaching staff.

On behalf of the seniors, I would like to thank the SJU Athletic Department for all that you have given us during our four years.

To our coaching staff, who has provided so much time and dedication to the program to improve all of us as hockey players and people.

To our teammates, for being a second family to us; without all of you it would not be possible.

Lastly, to our parents; you all are there for us every day and continue to love and support us no matter our results!

Today we took on UMass, who is a solid team and nationally ranked. We knew today would be a great challenge, but the Hawks were up for it! After trailing by two at halftime, we turned it on for the second half. Knowing it would be our last time competing on Ellen Ryan Field we weren't going down without a fight.  The offense drew a corner and we executed and scored!  Shannon McNeil put it in on the tip for her first career goal. But UMass didn't let down and we just couldn't pull ahead.

The Hawks did not come out on top today but there is still hope for our season to continue! Next weekend we travel all the way back down to Virginia to play Virginia Commonwealth and return back to Philadelphia to take on Temple. Although both teams will be very competitive we need to rise above in order to have a chance for postseason play! This week at practice we are looking to perfect our play--to have solid, crisp passing, keeping the ball out of the defensive circle, and finishing on offense.

-Abby

Hoover: Hanging Tough

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Wow--it has been a while! The Hawks have had five games since the last blog update. It has been a busy, stressful, emotional few weeks for the Hawks as midterms took place and we've worked at staying on top of our game.

After falling to Ohio University, SJU rose to take down the Wildcats in the annual rivalry game with Villanova. Once again it was another physical game and it was competitive, but we battled together to get the win.

Next we traveled to Saint Louis University to begin Atlantic 10 play. We took down the Bilikens, 1-0. This was a huge victory and positive way to start off the conference schedule.

The following weekend the Hawks continued on with A-10 play with Lock Haven. The Hawks struck first but it wasn't long until the Eagles tied it up. The game was hard-fought by both opponents. After regulation the game remained tied 1-1, and headed into the overtime period, the Hawks had the momentum. However, with six minutes left in the first overtime period Lock Haven received a corner and scored with a high shot.

Although SJU was upset, we were determined to go after the Explorers.  After another tough fought battle, La Salle had a corner with about a minute to go and executed nicely. But there was not enough time on the clock for the Hawks to answer.

Yesterday, we took on No. 17 Richmond, and the game was scoreless down to the last minute of play. All week long we worked on perfecting our corners, having strong individual defense, better communication, and our press. We knew going into the game that Richmond would be tough and we needed to bring our best game possible.

We had a solid warmup and we were mentally and physically ready for the task at hand. Richmond kept possession of the ball for a good amount of the first half. Our main focus was to keep the ball in front of us and come up with interceptions. Offense was our first line of defense and they did their job; they slid from side to side keeping their girl and the ball in front of them and not being eliminated from the play. Our midfield came up with a lot of interceptions and did a great job directing the forwards in front of them. For the defense, we knew they had quick forwards and we needed to keep them to the outside. The Hawks shut down the Spiders both halves. It came down to the last minute of play, and the Spiders drew a corner against us. The defense team was very confident after shutting them down many times before. Richmond shot the ball wide right and one of them got a tip on the ball to score the goal.

The Hawks have been fighting all season long and we will continue to fight to the end. Our next competition takes place on Sunday, the last home contest on Ellen Ryan Field. On this day the seniors will be recognized for their dedication to the program the past four years. Being one of those seniors, I am excited to play with this team on the beautiful field that we have on City Ave. The past four years have been nothing but enjoyable and a pleasure for me. Come out to support the Hawks one last time on Sunday at noon as we take on UMass!

-Abby

Hoover: All Heart

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This weekend, we faced two very competitive teams, Ohio University and the University of Virginia. Both teams are well-respected and Virginia is nationally ranked. We knew going into the weekend that we were the underdog and were going to have to bring our A-game in each match.

On Friday, we started it off with Ohio University; they got a quick goal on us as we were caught off guard in the first minute of play. It was 2-0 at half and we put up a tough fight. Defensively, we stepped up our game and worked on possessing the ball all over the field. We kept the Bobcats scoreless in the second half. Although unsuccessful in getting the win, we learned from our experience and carried it over in to our play against Virginia.

Virginia had just come off a high after defeating Maryland, last year's NCAA National Champions, so we knew they were going to be very competitive.   Not only would they be spirited but also extremely talented due to the fact they had two Olympians on their roster that competed in the 2012 games in London. The game started and as expected they came at us right away. UVA earned a penalty corner in the first five minutes of play and struck first on the scoreboard. We remained positive even after they scored their second goal. As a team we fought to keep the ball out of the defensive end and generate offense. We earned a penalty corner in which Nicole Gerdes put the ball in the left corner for a goal. This gave us the boost of confidence to never give up. Within a minute Gerdes found herself in front of the cage again and took a reverse shot.  After hearing the ref blow his whistle for the confirmation of the goal, the team went crazy. The game was 2-2 going into the second half and the Hawks were flying high.

The second half was underway and UVA came at us harder than ever. After fighting hard the entire the second half, the Cavilers were able to get four more goals making the score 6-2. But still we found ourselves composed and determined to continue in the battle. In the last 30 seconds of play we had earned another penalty corner. There was no time left on the clock, we brought everyone up on offense and were determined to not get out of the circle until the ball was in the cage. The ball was inserted and a shot was taken, but was tipped by UVA.  There was a scramble in front of the cage and the ball was going to the left post of the cage for Rachael Brosious to put it in for the Hawks' third goal of the game.

Even though we came up empty handed for wins this weekend, we proved to ourselves that if we just believe and play together and with heart, good things will happen. This weekend was a great experience for the Hawks and we will take this into our conference play which begins on Sunday at Saint Louis.

But before Atlantic 10 action begins, the St. Joe's-Villanova ricalry will kick off on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on Ellen Ryan Field.


-Abby

Hoover: Back on Track

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Once again, the captains of the Saint Joseph's field hockey team will be keeping you updated on how the team is doing from the viewpoint of a student-athlete.  This season, seniors Leigh Deininger and Abby Hoover will be serving as team captains and your humble narrators.

Finally...back on track. The past three weeks the Hawks have been fighting for a win. Sunday we came in with a new attitude and motto, and that was to "have fun."  After a five-game losing streak we were struggling to find confidence.  The win against Siena has helped to bring that back and put us in the direction that we want to be in. Jordan Cotter set the tone against Siena by going hard to every ball and not giving up until the ball was in the cage. Jordan Martin was another big contributor, putting the ball in the cage twice for us. Our passing game and distribution of the ball has truly improved and is only getting better, and our midfield is who should be recognized for that. Kate Mitchell continues to make big saves in the cage along with being the main communicator and director on the field.

Our practice focus has been on going back to basics with working on the simple game by developing our individual defensive skills as well as offensive skills. Like any team, we want to be on offense more than we are on defense.  We have had great moments in all of our games but we want to more effective by remaining focused to control the game for the full 70 minutes.

The underclassmen have been huge contributors to our lineup as well as challenging the upperclassmen to become better players. The team has truly come together during this time of struggle and moving forward to gain experience to be successful. Each and every Hawk has something to bring to the table, which is an asset to the team.  

We have about 2 weeks before we shift into Atlantic 10 play. These out-of-conference games have been challenging the team to work together, get the kinks out, and make us better for the A-10.  Coming up, we have Monmouth and Colgate, two teams that we will attack right from the start because this team is hungry for more wins!

-Abby

Roemer: A Bright Future

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By: Colin Roemer

So the season has come and gone, an all too unfortunate ending for those involved with the program as we seemingly have just hit our stride, playing at the level we all knew we were capable of achieving.  A bittersweet ending for us seniors as we have endured a long and emotional four years full of ups and downs but also seemingly accomplished many of our goals this year such as setting this program in the right direction for the years to come. When our team was informed in the final weeks of last summer that we had found our new coach in Taylor Wray, we all knew that we were in for a major change.  Our seniors wanted to make sure that we set a standard for this program.  We wanted to be remembered as the class that began the transformation of Saint Joseph's Lacrosse.  Now that the season is complete, I can say with pride that our program is headed in the right direction.

Looking back at our year as a whole, our team meshed together better than any team I have ever had the privilege of being apart of. We were truly a team of characters, compiled of differing personalities that somehow found a way of working well together. By the end of our season we had earned 6 wins, which include an overtime win against Marist and our programs first ever CAA victory against Towson University.  Ending the season on a three-game win streak should help push the returning members of the program to work hard in the offseason, allowing them to reach higher goals next year.

Only time will tell if the standard that we tried to set for our program becomes the norm.  Only time will tell if all the work that we put forth this year will continue in the years to come, allowing Saint Joseph's Lacrosse to reach its potential and blossom into what we all have truly desired. I am truly honored to have been given an opportunity to be apart of this program. I, along with the members of my graduated class, look forward to watching this team develop and compete in years to come. With a great group of guys returning next season, matched with the effort I am sure they will put forth, the future looks extremely bright for Saint Joseph's Lacrosse.

Go Hawks!

Bruun: CAA Play

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By: Kyle Bruun

As the first freshman to post on this blog I would just like to say how much I have enjoyed being on this team thus far. From the seniors down, I think I speak for the entire freshman class when I say that the team has embraced us and made us feel at home from Day 1. We have become a really tight knit group, and as we move past the half-point of the season we realize our time left with one another is limited and we want to make the most of it.

This weekend we have a long road trip and overnight stay in Massachusetts for another big conference match-up. We are currently 0-2 in the conference and this would be a great way to get our first ever win in the CAA. We are all looking forward to the opportunity to take down one of the nations best teams. Us along with our coaches know that we can play with any team in Division 1 lacrosse.

In addition to the games we continue to work hard to get better every day. In season is no time to slack off and we have continued to work hard in the weight room and get after it on out 7 a.m. Monday morning runs. We haven't let up in any aspect and we are poised to finish the season strong

Abbott: Mid-Season Report

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By: Will Abbott

At eight games into the season, we have a record of 3-5. Our victories include wins over VMI, Wagner, and Quinnipiac. We had five tough games against Lehigh, Bryant, Brown, Drexel, and most recently Penn State who was ranked 17th in the country, but in every game we have given a great effort, and showed improvement in all facets of the game. Every week we continue to get better, and we are looking forward to playing 3rd ranked UMASS this upcoming weekend.

Our most recent victory over Quinnipiac was a thriller.  After coming out of the gates slow, we found ourselves down by six. We kept calm, and we were able to cut the deficit to two by halftime. Coming into the second half, we knew we could win the game. Our defense played great, and we held Quinnipiac to one goal. Our offense stepped up, and they scored important goals at crucial times.  Gus Quinzani scored the game winning goal with three minutes left in the game.  We showed determination in this game, and it was truly a team effort. The come from behind victory is a game that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives, and it showed the character and heart of our team.

This past weekend we lost a hard fought game to Penn State; however, our defense played great and we continued to show signs of improvement. With a week to prepare for UMASS, we continue to work hard during practice, and compete everyday.  We are still running are 300 yard shuttles every Monday morning at 7am, to improve our fitness, and we continue to get stronger with lift sessions twice a week.  We are looking forward to the next part of our season, and continuing to get better and winning more games. 

Simanski: Winter Break

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By: John Simanski

As Fall Ball ended after Headstrong, we as a team moved into the Fall Improvement season. This consisted of us having lifting sessions four times a week and having skill sessions. We as a team would also get together on Tuesday and Thursday for team organized skill session, that we called MYB time (Make Yourself Better).  Although the Fall Improvement season was a very grueling process, it made us better as a team and that showed in many of ours weight gain, 40 times, bench press and squat. Coach Wray also ended the Fall Improvement season with a competitive and fun inter-squad scrimmage.

After the fall improvement season, us players headed into finals week. During this week we had our last team meeting, where the coaches gave us our expectations they had for us over break. This included a workout packet, running packet and a stick work packet. However, the biggest announcement was the addition of our new coach Kevin Crowley, who played at Stony Brook University. Coach Crowley will be helping out with the midfielders and man-up unit.

Although we are on Winter Break until January 15th, we are all working very hard trying to get bigger, faster and become more skilled lacrosse players. I know as a team we are all motivated by our game February 11th against Lehigh in which we want to start the season of 1-0.  

Sinnott: Off-Season Improvement

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By: Pat Sinnott

In between fall and Thanksgiving break, we have been going hard every day, improving both on and off the field. The freshman class has almost reached their comfort level, which is very important to us going into the season since we have a few freshmen that are going to be key players for us. They are maturing quickly and the entire team is meshing well. With everyone bringing maximum effort to each workout, we are forging a unity within the team that is the strongest it has been. One phrase that epitomizes our mentality for our fall improvement season is "Come Ready Or Never Start," or CRONS as it has became known around campus. The team is continuously working to foster that work ethic. Despite the challenges of being a student athlete, we are maintaining good grades and enjoying our time together with the coaching staff every day. An exciting event took place after one of our workouts, a dance off between two seniors Bob Hurley and Grif Ferrigan. Grif highlighted the event with his rendition of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It," while Hurley dominated the competition with his Jock Jams Mash Up routine, quick feet on the floor much like the late Michael Jackson.

Coming off of Thanksgiving break and gearing up for end of semester finals, our attitudes remain focused as our outlook for the spring is optimistic. We recently had a tough Monday workout coming off the break, but as a team we attacked it and got better that day. The workout consisted of 300s in the early am, followed by an afternoon which began with a timed mile to make less than 6 minutes, followed by 8 quarters of stick work, breakout patters, weight lifting, abdominal work, and continued conditioning of our legs. Currently, the senior class is gearing up for their Business Policy competitions which begin the week of 12/4. The Policy competition is for the entire senior class at SJU; each class is broken into groups of 5 seniors who had to analyze a Publicly Traded Company for the entire first semester and at the end of the semester develop a strategy for the future to improve their financials. Along with that is a research paper on the company you selected, anywhere from 30 -50 pages which your power point presentation highlights. The first groups of presentations are that Monday morning. All this week the seniors and their groups will be meeting through the nights to finalize their financials and meet with professors to make sure everything is correct, it is intense and very stressful.

As a team we look forward to a successful finals week and some much deserved time off with family. Going into break, we are committed to continuing to get better while keeping the pace with the off season workouts provided by Coach Brian and Coach Keating.

The spring season is right around the corner, and we are very excited for the season opened at Hawk Hill. There has been a lot of expressed interest and support from our families, alumni, friends, and professors for the upcoming season. Expect to see good crowds on the bleachers and outside of Post Hall.

Ferrigan: Alumi Weekend

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By: Griffin Ferrigan

After a successful HEADstrong tournament as a team, the next event on the Hawks' Lacrosse agenda was the annual alumni game. The alumni game is a very special part of the fall ball tradition because it is one of the only times throughout the year where the team gets to see the past players and enjoy the day with them. We started out the morning with a team inter-squad scrimmage. After, some of the guys stuck around to take part in the alumni game, pitting current players against the alumni. It was a loose yet exciting game at the same time, with the varsity team pulling out a late one goal victory over the alumni to win. It was an overall successful and enjoyable time for both the team as well as the alumni.

Once the alumni weekend came to a close, the team started what is known as the "Fall Improvement Season." The focus of the Fall Improvement Season is based around improving our individual skills as well as our physical fitness. Each week we have to pass a wall-ball test as well as a 300 yard shuttle test. We also meet 3 times a week in small groups to work on fundamental stick work and position drills that have also been very beneficial to the team. The lifting sessions have been ramped up in intensity to focus on us getting stronger in these two months where there is limited lacrosse action. This Fall Improvement Season, to say the least, has been very intense and competitive for the team. Our coaches push us to our limits every day, and I know for a fact we are getting bigger, faster, and stronger.

We have also been attending our weekly community service trips to the various assigned locations, and I know the team enjoys this because it is a time when we can relax and take our minds off of anything that's putting pressure on us. It has definitely been a great team bonding experience for us.

Atlantic 10 Conference, links to atlantic10.orgN C A A, links to ncaa.org