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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Women’s lacrosse ready to take next step

Last year the Hawks made it to the A-10 semifinal. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/ THE HAWK

fter finishing in the top four of the At- lantic 10 Conference in each of the last four seasons, Head Coach Alex Kahoe and the St. Joe’s women’s lacrosse team are determined to take the next step in 2020.

“Our goal is to win an A-10 Champi- onship,” Kahoe said. “For us to do that, we need to come together as a team, playing St. Joe’s lacrosse, playing hard and taking it one game at a time.”

The Hawks were voted third in the A-10 preseason poll, behind University of Rich- mond and University of Massachusetts. The team lost Francesca Donato, the 2019 A-10 Offensive Player of the Year, and Rebecca Lane, who graduated in May 2019 as second all time in career points at St. Joe’s.

Despite this, junior attack Stephanie Kelly, who in 2019 had the second most as- sists in a season in program history with 37, said she feels this team has gelled and senses strong unity between the players.

“We’re really connected this year after losing three high scorers from last year’s team,” Kelly said. “This year it’s really come together in positive ways.”

The recipe for success, according to Kel- ly, is a combination of relentless effort and tactical ingenuity.

“We’re definitely gritty,” Kelly said. “We’re really hard working. Hustle always is there from the get-go. Especially this year, we’ve been a lot more creative with how we’re playing.”

On the offensive end of the field, Kahoe spotlights Kelly and junior attack Sam Ma- gee, who only played in six games in 2019 due to injury, as standout players primed to orchestrate the scoring attack.

“Offensively for us Steph Kelly and Sam McGee have really stepped up as leaders, and we look forward to them making a big impact,” Kahoe said.

Senior leadership figures are to be a valuable asset for the Hawks this season. Bridget Cerciello, 2019 All A-10 First Team Midfielder, and two-time recipient of the Academic Award, given to the player on the team with the highest GPA, said she embrac- es her role as a senior leader, and is eager to leave a memorable legacy on the program.

as someone who came out and gave 100% every single day and really supported my teammates,” Cerciello said.

Another senior, Penny Green, empha- sized the importance of team chemistry. Green, who started all 19 games for the Hawks in 2019, said she values the family feel the team provides.

“We’re all close when we’re freshmen on the team,” Green said. “We’re all best friends. As a team, we include everyone in every- thing. It’s a great team community.”

Kelly speaks highly of the seniors’ influence.

“They are always making sure their teammates are doing everything they can and pushing them to be better,” Kelly said.

Two valuable additions to the program come as assistant coaches, Julia Braig and Caroline Steele, 2019 graduates of Universi- ty of Maryland who each earned Tewaara- ton Award nominations while playing with the Terrapins. Cerciello said their arrival has made an immediate impact.

“We’ve brought on two new coaches this season, and they’ve really stepped up al- ready,” Cerciello said.

The Hawks home opener takes place against number 15 United States Naval Academy on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m.

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