Fresh off its third consecutive Atlantic 10 regular season championship, the Saint Joseph's field hockey team will be the top seed in this week's Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship, to be contested on the Hawks' home ground, Ellen Ryan Field, beginning on Friday.
The Hawks will meet fourth-seeded Richmond in the first semifinal. The winner will meet the winner of the second semifinal between second-seeded VCU and third-seeded Massachusetts on Saturday for the tournament championship and the Atlantic 10's automatic berth in the 2018 NCAA Field Hockey Championship.
• Saint Joseph's (16-2 overall, 8-0 Atlantic 10) wrapped up its third outright league title on Friday with a 7-1 win over crosstown rival La Salle. Senior Anna Willocks and sophomore Sara Hayes tallied two goals apiece in the contest.
• The Hawks then finished off the regular season with a 5-2 win over then-#14 Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. Willocks and freshman Tonya Botherway scored two goals and totaled five points apiece as the Hawks secured their second win over a ranked team this season.
• On Tuesday, Saint Joseph's achieved its highest-ever national ranking, jumping up to 10th in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll. The Hawks opened the season at number 18 in the preseason poll and have been ranked every week since.
• Willocks was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Monday, while Botherway was named the Co-Rookie of the Week. It is the fourth such honor for Willocks, while Botherway has been named the league's top rookie five times.
• On Wednesday, Willocks garnered NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week accolades. It marks the second time she has received such recognition, as she earned the same honor on October 19, 2016.
• Botherway leads the Hawks in scoring, tallying 20 goals and 10 assists for 50 points. She ranks third in the league in goals and assists and second in points. Willocks, meanwhile, is second on the squad and fourth in the league with 17 goals and 40 points.
• Hayes (10 goals) and sophomore Emily Henry (eight goals, four assists) give the Hawks four players with 20 or more points, tops in the Atlantic 10. Four more Hawks – freshman Johanna Huse (15), junior Pepa Serrano (13), sophomore Jordan Olenginski (13), and sophomore Emily Peters (11) – have reached double-digits in scoring.
• Serrano leads the Hawks and is second in the Atlantic 10 with 11 assists on the season. Botherway is second on the team with 10, while Huse and Olenginski check in with seven apiece.
• Junior goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke has played every minute in the cage for the Hawks, posting a league-leading 1.00 goals against average and .760 save percentage. She also leads the nation with nine shutouts.
• Richmond (7-11 overall, 4-4 Atlantic 10) is led by Elise Zwicklbauer's 17 points. Addie Nash is the Spiders' leading goal-scorer with seven, including two against Saint Francis (Pa.) last week that put Richmond into the postseason. Zwicklbauer and Steffie Bongers rank second with six each.
• Olivia Hubert leads the Spiders with seven assists; Zwicklbauer's five place her second in that category as well.
• Emily Braunewell has played all but nine minutes between the pipes for Richmond, checking in with a 2.65 GAA and a .680 save percentage to go with a pair of shutouts.
• Emily McNamara leads VCU (11-6 overall, 7-1 Atlantic 10) and the Atlantic 10 with 25 goals and 53 points. Maite Sturm ranks a distant second with 24 points, while Shannon Pereira and Litiana Field have chipped in with 18 and 16, respectively.
• Sturm's 10 assists are a team-best and tie her for third in the league, while she and Pereira are second on the team with seven goals apiece.
• Sasha Elliott has started every game in the cage for the Rams, posting four shutouts, a 1.45 GAA, and a .690 save percentage.
• Massachusetts (10-9 overall, 6-2 Atlantic 10) is paced by Antonet Louw, whose 22 goals and 46 points are second and third in the conference, respectively. Lucy Cooper (28) and Georgie McTear (15) have also totaled double-digit points; Cooper's eight goals and McTear's six are second and third on the squad as well.
• Cooper leads the league with a dozen assists on the year; Sophie de Jonge and Bailey McNamara have contributed seven and six helpers as well, respectively.
• Goalkeeper Johanna von dem Borne has made all 19 starts for the Minutewomen, checking in with a 2.83 GAA and a .704 save percentage.
HAWKS vs. THE FIELD
#2 VCU: The Hawks took a 2-0 lead early in the second half before Sturm cut the deficit in half, but a late goal by Willocks sealed the deal in a 3-1 SJU victory at Ellen Ryan Field on October 12.
#3 Massachusetts: Saint Joseph's kicked off conference play in style, thrashing the Minutewomen, 5-0, at Ellen Ryan Field on September 23. Botherway tallied a goal and two assists in the game, while Willocks opened the scoring with her fifth goal of the season; with that goal, she became SJU's all-time points leader.
#4 Richmond: Willocks scored on a corner late in the first half before converting a penalty stroke in the second on the way to a 2-0 Hawk victory at Ellen Ryan Field on October 14.
vs. VCU: Hawks lead, 9-4
vs. Massachusetts: Minutewomen lead, 32-8
vs. Richmond: Spiders lead, 21-8