It was another exciting year in 2018 for Saint Joseph's, with team accomplishments and individual accolades highlighting a number of successful seasons across Hawk Hill. Here are some of the most noteworthy stories from the past 12 months.
10. Alums Jamie Moyer and Muffet McGraw Inducted into Philadelphia Hall of Fame; Alex Kahoe Inducted into National Lacrosse Hall of Fame
Former Saint Joseph's standouts Muffet McGraw '77 and Jamie Moyer were among the inductees in the Class of 2018 for the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on November 1 at SugarHouse Casino.
One of the founding members of Saint Joseph's women's basketball program, McGraw (nee O'Brien) guided the Hawks' offense from 1973-77, helping the program post an astounding 60-11 record, finished third in Eastern Region of the AIAW Tournament in 1976, while placing second in Eastern Region in 1977 and eventually finishing sixth at the national tournament. Following graduation, McGraw has gone on to become one of the most prominent head coaches in women's basketball as she has led Notre Dame to eight Final Four appearances, the 2001 and 2018 NCAA National Championships and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2017.
During his three seasons on Hawk Hill, Moyer established himself as one of the program's all-time greats, posting the third-lowest career earned run average in SJU history, tying for first all-time in career victories, and ranking second in career strikeouts at the time. Following his collegiate career, Moyer was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the 1984 MLB Draft and went on to pitch in the majors for 25 years, which included helping lead his hometown Philadelphia Phillies to the 2008 World Series title. Moyer and his wife, Karen, had honorary doctorates bestowed upon them by Saint Joseph's University for their charitable endeavors with The Moyer Foundation, which provides comfort and support to children enduring a time of profound physical, emotional, or financial distress.
Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse head coach Alex Kahoe, who won five NCAA national titles while at the University of Maryland from 1995-2000, was been inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 29. Kahoe is arguably one of the most decorated collegiate goalkeepers of all-time as a three-time All-American, three-time ACC Goalkeeper of the Year, and two-time NCAA Goalkeeper of the Year while at Maryland, where she led the Terrapins to four consecutive national titles from 1997-2000 as well as three ACC titles. A member of the USA National Lacrosse Team from 1997-2005 and the USA World Cup Lacrosse Team in 2003, Kahoe was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Team in 2002 and to the NCAA 25th Anniversary All-Time Women's Lacrosse Team in 2005 and was most recently inducted into the University of Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
9. Avery Marz Wins Summitt Award, Recognized at NCAA Final Four
Saint Joseph's senior Avery Marz received both the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's 2018 Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award and the Philadelphia Sports Writers' Association's Most Courageous Athlete honor after overcoming a life-threatening stroke to return to the court.
A highly-touted guard coming out of Wilson West Lawn High School, Marz suffered a stroke while moving into her dorm as a freshman in August of 2014. Working at home with physical therapists and her family to regain full motion in her left arm and leg, she took a medical leave for the fall semester, but returned to Saint Joseph's University in January of 2015.
Rejoining the Hawks the second semester of her freshman year, Marz continued to rehab and work towards making her collegiate debut over the next two seasons. After appearing in three games in a Saint Joseph's uniform during the Hawks' tour of Italy August of 2017, Marz appeared in her first Division I game on November 12, 2017 as she scored three points in a season-opening win at Niagara.
8. Women's Basketball Reaches Atlantic 10 Title Game
For the 12th time in program history, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team advanced to the title game of the Atlantic 10 Championship. Backed by a veteran lineup, the Hawks topped VCU, Fordham and Saint Louis to reach the championship clash versus George Washington. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, the Colonials came out on top, but the Hawks would go on to earn a berth in the NIT, where they beat Seton Hall before falling in the second round.
7. Claudine Andre Competes at NCAA East Regional Preliminaries
High jumper Claudine Andre capped one of the most successful careers in program history with a tie for 13th place at the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Rounds in Tampa, Florida, in May. Andre cleared the first three heights of 5' 5”, 5' 7”, and 5' 8 3/4”, the latter matching her outdoor personal best in the event, all on her first attempts. She then tackled the 5' 10 3/4” height but did not clear. With 11 of 12 tickets punched to the finals in Oregon after the preliminary round of 5' 10 3/4”, the five high jumpers who cleared the first three marks all on their first attempts competed in a jump-off for that last spot, including Andre. She did not advance but closed her career in dominating fashion, taking first or second in the high jump 24 times in 48 opportunities over her career.
6. Baseball's Tim Brennan, Men's Lacrosse's Kyle Cain Go Pro
Junior pitcher Tim Brennan was selected by the Texas Rangers in the seventh round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on on June 5. The Rangers picked up Brennan with the 209th overall selection in the draft, one year after his former teammate, Deon Stafford, Jr., was chosen in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brennan earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in his final season on Hawk Hill and was twice named the Philadelphia Big 5 Pitcher of the Year.
Midfielder Kyle Cain '18 became the first professional Major League Lacrosse (MLL) player in Saint Joseph's program history when he made his debut for the Ohio Machine in a game played against the Atlanta Blaze on July 21. Cain was selected to the Machine's 25-man roster out of the Player Pool after a senior season in which he led all SJU midfielders in points (39), goals (23), and assists (16) en route to his second Northeast Conference First Team nod.
5. Longtime Athletic Director Don DiJulia Retires, Inducted into SJU Athletics Hall of Fame; Jill Bodensteiner Named New AD
After a half century in collegiate athletics and 35 years as the athletic director at Saint Joseph's, Don DiJulia '67 entered into a well-earned retirement this year. Following the Hawks' final home basketball game of the season on March 3, DiJulia was inducted into the Saint Joseph's Athletics Hall of Fame in a surprise postgame ceremony at Hagan Arena.
Coming to Hawk Hill from Notre Dame, Jill Bodensteiner became the Hawks' new athletic director on June 1. Her appointment was announced on March 20, and she was introduced to the Saint Joseph's and Philadelphia communities two days later.
4. Men's Rowing Medals at Dad Vail Regatta, Reaches IRA Championship
The men's rowing team earned a pair of silver medals and a bronze medal at the 80th Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River on May 12. Three days later, the Hawks were tabbed for their second consecutive at-large berth to the IRA Championship, sending three boats to men's rowing's top national regatta. The Hawks earned a 17th-place team finish, marking the first time SJU has finished in the top 20 in the nation.
3. Anna Willocks Breaks Records, Voted First Team All-America
Senior forward Anna Willocks rewrote the Saint Joseph's field hockey record book over the course of her outstanding career, topping the Hawks' all-time lists in every major offensive category. After setting the program's all-time assist mark in the 2017 Atlantic 10 championship game, Willocks took over the all-time lead in points on September 23 before claiming the goals mark with the 68th of her career on October 7. All told, she finished her career with 77 goals, 34 assists, and 188 points.
On December 4, Willocks became SJU's first-ever three-time All-America honoree and just the second Hawk to earn First Team honors when the National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced its postseason awards. Willocks received another high honor on December 12 when she was tabbed as one of just four finalists for the Honda Sport Award for field hockey. Honda Award finalists are selected based on their athletic achievements, academic performance, leadership abilities, and community service; Willocks is the first Hawk to be recognized in this manner.
2. Men's Lacrosse Claims Regular Season NEC Crown, Reaches Title Game
With an 8-7 road win over nationally-ranked Robert Morris on April 28, the men's lacrosse program finished the NEC regular season undefeated to claim the NEC regular season title and earn the right to host the NEC Championship for the fourth time in five years. The Hawks also reached their third title game in four years, falling to Robert Morris in overtime on May 5.
The Hawks won 11 consecutive games to set the program record for longest single-season winning streak and took down a pair of ranked opponents – Penn and Robert Morris – in an 11-day span en route to the program's first-ever national ranking, coming in at #20 in both the Inside Lacrosse Maverik Lacrosse Division I Media Poll and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division I Coaches Poll on April 30.
1. Field Hockey Sweeps Atlantic 10 Regular Season and Tournament Championships, Earns Top-10 National Ranking
Senior Joely Helder scored the game's lone goal as the Hawk field hockey team won its second consecutive Atlantic 10 title with a 1-0 win over VCU at Ellen Ryan Field on November 3. The Hawks finished off a sweep of the year's Atlantic 10 championships after posting their second undefeated conference record in three years and grabbing the program's third consecutive outright regular season crown.
Advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history, the Hawks ultimately fell to #8 Michigan, 3-2, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Freshman Tonya Botherway, the Atlantic 10 and ECAC Division I Rookie of the Year, became the first Hawk to score in NCAA Tournament play as she tallied both SJU goals in the game.
The Hawks matched their program record of 18 wins set a year ago, finishing the year at 18-3 and ranked 10th in the NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, the highest national ranking in program history. In addition to Willocks' First Team nod, two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Victoria Kammerinke was named a Second Team All-American while Pepa Serrano was voted onto the Third Team, giving Saint Joseph's three All-America honorees for the first time in program history.