PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's soccer team is postseason bound after downing Fordham, 1-0, Sunday afternoon at Finnesey Field. Backed by a goal in the 53rd minute by junior Mo Hawkins and the seventh shutout of the season from senior goalkeeper Christine Neal, the Hawks are headed to the Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time since 2005.
With both teams needing a win to secure a postseason spot, the two squads played timid in the opening half as SJU held a 6-4 edge in shots. Neal made a pair of saves during the stretch to keep the game scoreless.
Early in the second half, junior Emily Irons tracked down the ball in the midfield and delivered a well timed shot up the middle and past a Fordham defender to Hawkins. In stride, SJU's midfielder took the ball, got by the last defender and drilled a shot into the upper left corner to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead at 52:56.
From there, Saint Joseph's (9-6-4, 4-2-3 A-10) would stack its defense and play to the advantage of the wind. Despite Fordham keeping the ball in the Hawks' zone for a majority of the final 10 minutes, Neal and SJU's defense kept the Rams from any true scoring chance to secure the win.
For the game, both teams posted 11 shots, with SJU holding a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Additionally, the Hawks honored their senior class of Neal, Taylor Mallory and Ali Yozwiak prior to the game.
Seeding and game times for this week's A-10 Championship will be determined later on Sunday. The conference postseason is set to begin this Thursday at Rhode Island.