Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Saint Joseph's Wins Second Straight A-10 Field Hockey Title

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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MERION STATION, Pa.—Top-seeded Saint Joseph’s won its second straight Atlantic 10 Conference Field Hockey Championship with a shutout victory, claiming a 1-0 win over VCU Saturday afternoon at a packed Ellen Ryan Field.

 

The No. 10 ranked Hawks (18-2) advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. The A-10 regular season champion, Saint Joseph’s will learn it’s NCAA opponent Sunday at 10:00 pm.

“If you look at where this program came from, it’s amazing what Coach Farquhar made out of this. Two titles in a row is just amazing and shows that everything is finally coming together," said the Hawks' goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke. "We’re playing great as a team and it’s so much fun. Our season’s not done yet, and it’s just cool to see all the pieces fall together in the end.”

 

Two of the top offenses in the nation, SJU and VCU both had multiple chances to score, with the Hawks tallying nine shots and VCU five. Strong goalkeeping and defense kept the game a one-score affair, however, with eight total saves – five by VCU keeper Sasha Elliott and three Kammerinke, who earned Championship Most Outstanding honors for her play in the two games. Elliott was also named to the All-Championship Team.

“Our defense did a great job, especially with the stretch that you see on the field and the really quick counter attacks. I give a lot of credit to our midfield because they had a lot of possession time. VCU is talented, very skillful and they have a lot of numbers in their mid. [Victoria] is our defensive player of the year in the conference, and you can see why," said SJU coach Lynn Farquhar.

 

Joely Helder tallied the only goal of game following a penalty corner. Kathrin Bentz took a shot that Helder tipped into the cage. Helder earned a spot on the All-Championship Team.

"We had Katherine step up and she sent a great ball down the line and I was able to get a tip on it,” Helder said. “I think that was something huge for us, because it was only 1-0, we weren’t racking up the goals, but that we had the composure and the ability to just hold onto that lead was awesome.”

Second-seeded VCU (12-7) was playing in its first-ever A-10 title game. This also marked the first time since 1990 the A-10 Championship final did not feature either Massachusetts or Richmond.

“Hopefully we [the A-10] keep on building. I think that’s a goal we have to have in mind as a coaches group. UMass and Richmond have been amazing programs traditionally and they still are, but the more competitive we get, the better it’s going to be for field hockey, our league, and also our ability to get to the NCAA tournament," Farquhar said.

Joining Kammerinke, Elliott and Helder on the All-Championship Team were Steffie Bongers from Richmond, Lucy Cooper from UMass, Emily McNamara, Litiana Field, Maite Sturm, Shannon Pereira of VCU and Saint Joseph’s Anna Willocks and Tonya Botherway.


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