MERION STATION, PA 11/3/2018 – The Saint Joseph’s Hawks won their second consecutive field hockey championship in thrilling fashion defeating the VCU Rams 1 – 0 at Ellen Ryan Field. The top-seeded Hawks, who have won three straight regular season titles, earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The titles are beginning to define this program.
“We are on the rise,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Lynn Farquhar. “We had committed players who came in, some alums who got it started, and now we are hoping to continue the trend.”
The Hawks back Joely Helder scored the only goal of the game at the 28:43 mark of the first half, tipping in the ball in the corner. Kathrin Bentz got the assist. It was a goal that determined a championship.
“We came along in a huge way since I was a freshman,” Helder said. “We were ranked in the sixties and now to be in the top ten, that’s awesome.”
From there it was a defensive battle. SJU had a 9 – 5 edge in shots, but had a difficult time getting the ball past Rams goal keeper Sasha Elliott who made 5 saves. However, the Rams did not beat Hawks goal keeper Victoria Kammerinke who was credited with 3 saves. In the second half VCU pressured in the offensive end, got good shots, but Kammerinke was equal to the task of protecting a one-goal lead.
“It’s easier when you have more than one goal difference, A one-zero game keeps you focused,” said Kammerinke. “In the end it’s great that we got the win. It’s a team effort. I give credit to my teammates.
Kammerinke was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championships. Helder, Anna Willocks, and Tonya Botherway represented Saint Joseph’s on the All-Championship team. Elloitt was joined by fellow Rams Emily McNamara, Litiana Field, Maite Strum, and Shannon Pereira on the team. Steffie Bongers of Richmond and Lucy Cooper from UMass were also named.
NCAA Tournament bids will be announced Sunday night at 10 PM. The Hawks (18 – 2) will learn their seed and opponent at that time. Then will try to take another step in the growth of the program, winning tournament games.
Written By: Glenn Papazian