SJU field hockey draws Michigan in NCAA first round

Matt Leon
November 08, 2018 - 4:14 pm
Saint Joe's Hawks

Mitchell Leff

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Saint Joseph's University field hockey team is getting ready to make its second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. On Friday afternoon, the Hawks will take on Michigan in the first round in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Hawks are 18-2 and the champions of the Atlantic 10. St. Joe's won the conference title for the second straight season with a 1-0 win over VCU on Saturday.

"It's really neat to see where the program has come," head coach Lynn Farquhar. "Even at the (Atlantic 10) championship game, we had alums from several years and some of them have started with me here. So for them to see where the program has come in just a couple years has been really cool. Last year, after getting a taste of the NCAA Tournament, this group wanted to go back. That's a goal for me as a coach is if a players' group is committed to something, I want to make it happen."

Michigan brings a 13-6 record into the tournament. The Wolverines lost in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament to Iowa.

"It's going to be a good game," Farquhar said. "We're really excited. We faced a Big Ten team earlier and it was close (3-2 loss at Rutgers), so I'm sure it's going to be another close game. Anybody in the NCAA Tournament is going to be tough. They say it's 'The Dance' for a reason, it is when magic can happen, so you never know. We're going to go out, do our best and see what happens."

READ: Anna Willocks a big key to SJU field hockey success

Farquhar talks about what they have to do to have success.

"We like to attack," she said. "We're going to have to be able to convert. In tournament time, it's who can finish and who can execute under pressure."

Last year, the Hawks lost to North Carolina in the first round of the tournament.

Saturday's game gets underway at 2:30 p.m.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.