PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the first time in program history, the St. Joseph’s University field hockey team is headed to the NCAA Tournament.
St. Joe’s (18-3) will travel down to the University of Virginia to take on North Carolina in the first round on Saturday.
“The Hawks are excited and ready to travel down to UVA,” St. Joe’s head coach Lynn Farquhar tells KYW Newsradio.
St. Joe’s earned an automatic berth into the tournament after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament title. The Hawks beat UMass 3-2 in double-overtime in the championship game on Saturday.
“It was an exciting game,” Farquhar says. “We knew UMass was going to come out strong. They are very experienced, they have a really large senior class that has been through so much and performed so well in the A-10. So we knew we were going to have to battle that, but really our team, the hope and the will that this group had and just their resilience to keep on going was amazing and I’m really proud of that.”
The Hawks have gotten great work up and down the roster and it has not gone unnoticed. Farquhar was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. Junior forward Anna Willocks (18 goals, 47 points) was named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year, earning that honor for a record setting third straight year. Sophomore goalkeeper Victoria Kammerinke (1.16 GAA, 7 shutouts) was named Atlantic 10 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and freshman forward Quinn Maguire (18 goals, 42 points) earned Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year honors.
While appearing in the NCAA Tournament is new to St. Joe’s, it’s familiar territory for North Carolina. The Tar Heels (16-4) have qualified for the field for the 15th straight season and 34th time overall. North Carolina earned an automatic berth by winning the ACC Tournament title.
Farquhar says her squad will be ready to go on Saturday.
“We’re going to go in there and just stick with us, play our game plan,” she says. “And it’s tournament time, anything can happen. That’s the beauty of ‘the dance,’ so we’re going to go down there and see what we can do.”
The winner of this game gets the winner of Virginia and Princeton in the second round.
Saturday’s St. Joe’s/UNC game starts at 11:30am.