The Saint Joseph’s field hockey team is ranked 10th in the nation. The Hawks are consecutive Atlantic 10 champions. The next task will be to play Michigan in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship on Friday, November 9.
The game against the seventh-ranked Wolverines will be in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at 2:30 p.m. The winner will take on either top overall seed North Carolina, Monmouth, or William and Mary in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Monmouth and William and Mary will meet on Wednesday, with the winner heading to Chapel Hill to face the host Tar Heels.
The game is a good contrast in styles. Saint Joe’s is an attacking team averaging nearly 4 goals per game The Hawks out shot their opponents by a 353 – 126 margin. UM tends to start strong then turn the game over to the defense. Michigan out shot the opposition 3328 – 171. The Wolverines average 2 goals per game and give up less than one over the season. They scored 28 of their 53 goals in the first half.
The first goal will be very important.
Saint Joseph’s (18-2) claimed its second consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship crown with a 1-0 win over VCU. Junior goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke posted her Division I-best 10th shutout of the season and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship. Senior Joely Helder tallied what would be the game’s lone goal late in the first half. Helder was joined by senior Anna Willocks and freshman Tonya Botherway on the All-Championship Team.
Michigan (13-6) earned an at-large berth to the Championship after falling in the Big Ten semifinals. The Wolverines posted a 7-1 record in the Big Ten this season.
The Hawks, making the second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, took on three teams in the bracket this season, posting a 1-2 mark with a win over Monmouth and losses to Duke and Rutgers. The Hawks and Wolverines have never met.
Written By: Glenn Papazian