PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph’s fifth-year head coach Alex Kahoe has announced the Hawks’ 17-game, highly-competitive schedule for the 2019 women’s lacrosse season. The Hawks will compete against members of the Big East Conference, Patriot League, American Athletic Conference, Big Ten Conference, 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 five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last spring in quarterfinalist Navy, second-rounder Towson, and first-rounders Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Richmond.
"We are very excited for our 2019 season," said Kahoe. "We are looking forward to playing a competitive, non-conference schedule that includes five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament in the 2018 season, along with our A-10 conference opponents."
The Hawks’ 17-game schedule features eight home contests to be played on Sweeney Field, beginning with the season opener against Georgetown on Saturday, February 9, set for 3:00 p.m. St. Joe’s will host four of eight total non-conference games and four of nine A-10 games. The non-conference portion of the schedule will run from February 9 through March 16 while regular-season A-10 action is set for March 22 through April 20.
For the second season in a row, Saint Joseph's will open its slate against Georgetown (Feb. 9), marking just the second time in program history that the Hawks and Hoyas will meet and the first time they will meet on Sweeney Field.
"We are looking forward to a competitive home opener on Sweeney Field this spring as we welcome Georgetown to its first game on Hawk Hill," said Kahoe.
Saint Joseph's will then have eight days to prepare for its first road test at Navy (Feb. 17), marking just the second time in program history that the Hawks and Mids will meet.
For Kahoe, opening the season with back-to-back teams that played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament will benefit the program immensely.
"Georgetown and Navy are two well-coached teams and will be great tests for our team as we begin our season," said Kahoe.
The Hawks will return home to host a pair of city games, against Temple (Feb. 20) and Villanova (Mar. 2), before taking on the challenge of facing three strong programs, two of which made the NCAA Tournament last spring, on the road.
Saint Joseph's will play those three games over an eight-day stretch, facing Johns Hopkins (Mar. 6), Lafayette (Mar. 9) and Towson (Mar. 13), the latter reaching a top-ten national ranking last season.
Saint Joseph's will close the non-conference portion of the schedule at home against Delaware (Mar. 16).
Of Saint Joseph's eight non-conference opponents, the Hawks faced five last year in Georgetown, Navy, Temple, Villanova, and Towson. Saint Joseph's has played Johns Hopkins twice (1998-99), Lafayette 14 times (1997-2010), and Delaware three times (2009-11), prior to Kahoe's arrival on Hawk Hill.
"Our non-conference schedule will be a great test for our team in the first half of our season," said Kahoe. "We have added [Johns] Hopkins, Delaware, and Lafayette to our schedule, and we are looking forward to these match-ups as they will help us prepare for our Atlantic 10 opponents. This year's schedule includes top-level competition along with local rivalries, which will allow for exciting competitions."
Saint Joseph’s will open conference play the weekend of March 22, facing both St. Bonaventure (Mar .22) and Duquesne (Mar. 24) on the road.
The Hawks will return home to host VCU (Mar. 29) before playing their third road game in 10 days at UMass (Mar. 31), who had won the A-10 Tournament nine consecutive years before being knocked off by Richmond last spring.
"The A-10 portion of our season is sure to be competitive," said Kahoe. "These games are always exciting and sure to be a battle. We are looking forward to opening the conference schedule with three out of four on the road. This will be a good test for us as we come together to stay focused and play St. Joe's lacrosse."
The Hawks' full home weekend comes the first weekend of April, when the Crimson and Gray host George Washington (Apr. 5) and Davidson (Apr. 7) on Sweeney Field.
The following weekend will see SJU travel down to George Mason (Apr. 12) before returning home for the regular-season home finale, against La Salle (Apr. 14), that Sunday.
The Hawks will close the 2019 regular-season slate against 2018 A-10 champion Richmond (Apr. 20).
SJU went 7-2 in the Atlantic 10 regular-season last year with wins over VCU, Davidson, St. Bonaventure, Duquesne, George Washington, George Mason, and La Salle.
"We always look forward for the A-10 segment of our season," said Kahoe. "We are fortunate to be a part of a great conference with amazing competition. We are looking forward to another exciting year in the A-10."
The 2019 Atlantic 10 Championship will be held at George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Va. from April 25-28. Following the expansion of the postseason field prior to the start of the 2016 season, six teams will qualify for the 2019 A-10 postseason. The Hawks have reached the semifinals in each of their last three seasons.
Saint Joseph’s is expected to return 24 Hawks from a squad that is coming off of a program-record, 12-win season and has added 11 true freshmen to the roster in preparation for the 2019 spring season.