PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph’s fourth-year head coach Alex Kahoe has announced the Hawks’ 17-game schedule for the 2018 women’s lacrosse season. The Hawks will compete against members of the Big East Conference, Northeast Conference, Patriot League, and Colonial Athletic Association during the eight-game, non-conference portion of the schedule before entering into Atlantic 10 Conference action. The Hawks will face a trio of teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last spring in Towson (First Round), UMass (Second Round), and Navy, a squad that reached the Final Four.
“The 2018 season should be an exciting time for us,” said Kahoe. “We are looking forward to facing some new teams out of conference this season as well as our A-10 conference opponents. Our team is looking forward to competing and continuing to raise the bar for Saint Joseph’s women’s lacrosse.”
The Hawks’ 17-game schedule features nine home contests to be played on Sweeney Field, including the home opener against Central Connecticut on February 17. St. Joe’s will host four of eight total non-conference games and five of nine A-10 games. The non-conference portion of the schedule will run from February 17 through March 24, while regular-season A-10 action is set for March 29 through April 28.
Saint Joseph’s will open the season at Georgetown (Feb. 10) as the Hawks and Hoyas meet on the lacrosse field for the first time in program history.
“Georgetown is a very well-coached program,” said Kahoe. “We are excited about playing them for the first time in program history and are looking forward to opening up our season with them in D.C. on February 10th.”
One week later, the Hawks will host Central Connecticut (Feb. 17) in the 2017 home opener, marking the third time in program history and the first since 2001 that the two teams will meet.
Saint Joseph’s will then hit the road for a pair of local games against Temple (Feb. 21) and Villanova (Mar. 1) before returning home for the first meeting in program history against Navy (Mar. 7), a team that reached the 2017 NCAA Final Four just last spring.
“After reaching an NCAA Final Four in 2017, we are looking forward to playing a fast, physical Navy team here on Hawk Hill,” said Kahoe.
The Hawks will then host Vanderbilt (Mar. 11), marking the first time in two decades that the programs will meet, and Towson (Mar. 14), marking the first time since 1995 that the programs will meet, before closing the non-conference portion of the schedule on the road at Wagner (Mar. 24).
Of Saint Joseph's seven non-conference opponents, the Hawks faced just three last season in Temple, Villanova, and Wagner. This year will mark the first meeting between Saint Joseph’s and Georgetown and Saint Joseph’s and Navy in program history. The Hawks have played Towson once (1995), Central Connecticut State twice (2000-01), and Vanderbilt three times (1996-98).
“Our non-conference schedule brings in some great opponents, including new opponents that include Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Towson and NCAA Final Four team Navy,” said Kahoe. “We are looking forward to these match-ups as they will help us prepare for our Atlantic 10 opponents.”
Saint Joseph’s will open conference play on Easter weekend, hosting nine-time defending A-10 champion Massachusetts (Mar. 29) before heading down to Richmond, Va. to face VCU (Mar. 31).
The following weekend, the Hawks will host 2017 A-10 runner-up Richmond (Apr. 6) before heading back down south to Davidson, North Carolina to take on Davidson (Apr. 8).
The Hawks will stay home for a full weekend when they host St. Bonaventure (Apr. 13) and Duquesne (Apr. 15) before heading back down south to take on George Washington (Apr. 20) in Washington, D.C.
SJU will host George Mason (Apr. 22) in the regular-season home finale before closing out the regular season locally, at La Salle (Apr. 28).
The Hawks went 7-2 in the Atlantic 10 regular-season last year with wins over Davidson, Duquesne, VCU, La Salle, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, and George Washington.
“The Atlantic 10 always brings great competition,” said Kahoe. “We are fortunate to be a part of a great conference and are looking forward to another exciting year in the A-10.”
The 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship will be held at the University of Richmond’s Robins Stadium in Richmond, Va. from May 3-6. Following the expansion of the postseason field prior to the start of the 2016 season, six teams will qualify for the 2018 A-10 postseason.
Saint Joseph’s is expected to return 24 Hawks from a squad that is coming off of a program-record, 11-win season, which was capped by a run at the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament, and has added 12 true freshmen and a sophomore transfer to the roster in preparation of the 2018 spring season.