• Dan Russoman

St. Joseph field hockey stays undefeated


Giavanna Fox has been one of the top scorers for St. Joseph’s field hockey team this season. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—Off to its best start since the 2016 season, St. Joseph Academy’s field hockey team has quickly become one of the top teams in southern New Jersey this season.


The Wildcats finished 4-7 a year ago, but the addition of a few new players and the development of some others has put St. Joe at the top of the Cape Atlantic League National Conference standings.


St. Joe was once one of the top-ranked teams in southern New Jersey, but the last few seasons have seen the Wildcats struggle with small, inexperienced rosters.


Last year, former Wildcat Kassidy Wentzell took over as head coach, and with an experienced coaching staff, she has been able to turn St. Joseph’s fortunes around.


“I don’t think anyone thought we would be playing as well as we are,” Wentzell said.


“We still have a long way to go. A lot of our girls never played field hockey before and they’re still learning the game. A few are field hockey players, but we’ve been able to pick up some girls from other sports and they’re learning. The good thing is that they’re all athletes so it’s more a matter of teaching them the skills they need and not so much the competitive spirit and drive,” Wentzell said.


St. Joe set the tone for the season in its first game, shutting out Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) on the road in its season-opener.


“OLMA beat us twice last year and they have a pretty good team back this season,” Wentzell said.


That victory gave some of St. Joe’s newcomers the confidence they needed.


“That win was huge for us because I think it showed some of our girls that they had the skills to compete,” Wentzell said.


Last week, St. Joe won a pair of games, defeating conference rivals Cedar Creek and Lower Cape May.


Cedar Creek entered last week’s game at St. Joseph with just one loss, but the Pirates fell behind early and went on to lose to the Wildcats 3-2.


Macie Jacquet, a former soccer player, scored all three goals for St. Joseph in the win. The junior has tallied 10 goals this season.


“I’m still learning, but it’s been fun,” Jacquet said.


“Adding a player like Macie, who’s not only a great athlete, but also knows how to win from [playing on St. Joseph’s South Jersey champion softball team], has been a big plus for us,” Wentzell said.


Goalie Isabella Davis stopped eight shots to help preserve the win for the Wildcats.


St. Joe followed the win against Cedar Creek with a 2-1 victory at Lower Cape May. The host Tigers had entered that game with a 5-1 record.


Giavanna Fox tallied a goal in the second quarter to help St. Joe head into halftime with the game tied 1-1.


In the second half, Jacquet scored off a pass from Brogan Heilig to send St. Joe to the win. Davis had nine saves.


St. Joseph will look to extend its win streak on September 29 when it hosts Oakcrest at 4 p.m.


St. Joseph Academy’s boys soccer team lost to both Lindenwold and Middle Twp. last week.


Lindenwold took control of last week’s game with five first-half goals and went on to win 8-3.

Individual statistics for St. Joseph were not reported.


Later in the week, St. Joe lost at Middle Twp. 7-1. Ty Powell scored the lone goal of the game for the Wildcats.


Earlier this week, St. Joseph played at Buena, but that game ended too late for this edition. The Wildcats return to action on September 30 against Wildwood Catholic at 4 p.m.


St. Joseph Academy’s girls volleyball team lost its match at Egg Harbor Twp. last week, falling 2-0. Game scores for the match were 25-8 and 15-15.


Also last week, the Wildcats had a matches at both Mainland and Middle Twp., but no results were reported for those events.


Earlier this week, St. Joseph played at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, but that match ended too late for this edition. On September 30, the Wildcats host Pleasantville at 4 p.m.