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Coach Joanie Milhous enters her 20th season as the head field hockey coach at Villanova University. Coach Milhous moves into the 2014 season with a 186-182 career record at Villanova after finishing the 2013 season at 4-13. Milhous has made eight total BIG EAST postseason appearances including seven in the last 13 seasons.
Villanova finished seventh in the conference for the 2013 slate. The squad was anchored by in scoring by Maddy Harding, Jessica Swoboda, Lauren Wilson and Leah High, who all move into their senior seasons in 2014. At the time of each game, Villanova faced five NFHCA Division I Poll teams (No. 3 Connecticut, No. 14 Temple, No. 14 Louisville, No. 19 Delaware and No. 20 Old Dominion) as well as four teams that made the NCAA Tournament (Delaware, North Carolina and Old Dominion) including Connecticut, winner of the NCAA National Championship.
The 2012 season was a milestone year for Milhous. With the 3-2 victory over La Salle on Sept. 5th, Milhous achieved her 200th career victory as a head coach. Her current all- time record stands at 208-222-4.
Villanova finished fifth in the BIG EAST in 2012. They met five final NFHCA Division I Poll teams, including No. 1 UNC, No. 3 Syracuse, No. 5 Connecticut, No. 16 Richmond and No. 25 Louisville. The attack line of Leah High, Jessica Swoboda and Kayla Kenney tallied a combined 64 points (22 goals, 20 assists) during the season. They netted 22 of Villanova's 30 goals. In her first year as a starting goalkeeper, Alex Diekmann notched 112 saves and was named to the BIG EAST's Weekly Honor Roll on four occasions.
The Wildcats found success in the 2011 season, as they secured a spot in the Big East Championship Tournament for the first time in five years. Villanova was up against four ranked teams in the final Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll during the regular season, including No. 3 Syracuse, No. 4 Maryland, No. 5 Connecticut and No. 7 Penn State. The team was led offensively by a group of freshman who scored 20 of the Wildcat's 30 goals in the 2011 season. Defensively, senior goalie, Megan Goelz earned 119 saves in her final year.
In 2009, the Wildcats ended the season ranked 7th in the NCAA in scoring average and 8th in the country with 3.59 goals per game. Villanova faced some of the toughest competition in the nation, scheduling five ranked opponents in the final Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll, including No. 3 North Carolina, No. 5 Connecticut, No. 8 Syracuse, No. 10 Drexel and No. 16 Louisville.
The 2008 season proved to be a great defensive effort for Villanova field hockey; the Wildcats ranked 12th nationally in shutouts per game and goalie Maura McCormick finished the season ranked 15th nationally in save percentage. Having one of the toughest RPI's in the country, Milhous and her team played against six season-ending ranked opponents, including No. 16 Drexel, No. 13 Louisville, No. 9 Princeton, No. 5 UConn, No. 4 James Madison and No. 3 Syracuse.
The accomplishments of the 2007 season mirrored that of 2008. The Wildcats put together a winning streak of seven games which tied a school record. Their run included national recognition with a No. 20 ranking and an upset of No.3 Connecticut. The team also stood out in the BIG EAST; 2007 was the ninth straight year Villanova had multiple all-conference selections. The Wildcats finished the season ranked 3rd in assists per game (2.38) and 5th in the nation in goals per game (3.27) and scoring average (3.28).
The Wildcats achieved a great amount during the 2006 season. Milhous led the program to its second consecutive year ranked on the national level, where they remained throughout the season. The road to a national ranking was filled with excitement as the Wildcats knocked off two top-20 teams as they defeated then No. 14 Iowa on Sept. 9 and No. 9 Connecticut just one week later on Sept. 17.
The 2006 team broke five records while receiving recognition from the BIG EAST Conference for their outstanding play. In addition, the Wildcats catapulted themselves on to the national scene as they ranked in the top-12 in three separate categories. Villanova's highest ranking was seventh in the nation in Assists per Game (2.57), followed by 11th in Points per Game (8.67) and 12th in Scoring Average (3.04).
In a milestone 2005 season, the Wildcats made their fifth consecutive trip to the BIG EAST Championship earning a No. 1 seed following a first-place 4-1 season in conference play. Despite finishing the season with a first-ever national ranking, the No. 15 Wildcats fell to Connecticut 3-2 in overtime of the championship game.
Milhous won the 2005 BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the second time in her career by producing a season of firsts for Villanova. On Sept. 20, the Wildcats received their first national ranking, won their first regular season title and tallied 15 wins on the season. Its No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament was the first ever, and the Wildcats beat two ranked teams (Louisville and Connecticut) in the same season for the first time. Villanova had its most-ever selections to the first team All-Conference (three) and won the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the first time in program history as well. In addition to these accomplishments, the 2005 team ranked second in the conference in goals (70), assists (54), points (194), goals against (39) and shutouts (4). The `Cats also out-scored opponents 70-39 en route to the 15-5 season.
In May of 1995, Milhous arrived at Villanova University after a four-year coaching stint at nearby Cabrini College. In just four years, Milhous completely turned the program around. After recording only one win in her first season, Milhous closed her career at Cabrini with an 11-win season in 1994, earning her 1994 Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Milhous' accomplishments at Villanova have followed a similar trend. Prior to entering the upcoming 2010 season, her teams have posted 11 consecutive winning records dating back to 1998 totaling 131 victories. These past 11 seasons have been highlighted by seven BIG EAST Tournament appearances, with three of those leading to the BIG EAST Championship game.
In addition to her role as the head field hockey coach, Milhous served as the women's lacrosse head coach from 1997-00. During her three seasons directing the women's lacrosse program the Wildcats posted a 10-38 record. At the end of the 2000 season she stepped down from her position in order to concentrate entirely on field hockey.
Milhous graduated in 1991 from the College of William & Mary where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. While attending William & Mary she was a standout for both the field hockey and women's lacrosse programs.
In field hockey Milhous was a two-time Regional All-American and two-time All-Conference selection, as well as being chosen team captain for her senior season.
She ended her career as the seventh leading scorer in Tribe history. In addition to her success in field hockey, she earned equal rewards for her play on the lacrosse pitch. After being named team captain, she also received Regional All-American and All-Conference honors. In each of her four seasons playing lacrosse, the Tribe was nationally ranked. She was voted to participate in the North/South Senior All-Star game in both field hockey and lacrosse.
Milhous served as President of the BIG EAST Conference Field Hockey Site Committee in 1998 and was also a board member of the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association from 1998-2000, representing the Philadelphia area colleges.
A native of Wynnewood, Pa., Milhous and her husband, Stowe, reside in Gulph Mills, Pa. with their three children, Stowe Jr. and twins Tucker and Madison.
Coaching Experience:208-222-4 (23 years)
Villanova University (1995-Present):186-182 (19 years)
Cabrini College (1991-95):22-40-4 (four years)
Coaching Honors & Achievements: