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"NY Sports Scene" featured Pace Athletics in "Women Athletes A Driving Force Behind Pace University’s Revitalized Athletic Program"


"NY Sports Scene" featured Pace Athletics in "Women Athletes A Driving Force Behind Pace University’s Revitalized Athletic Program"

Women Athletes A Driving Force Behind Pace University’s Revitalized Athletic Program

Pace women are leading the way in its newly revitalized athletics program. Women’s teams – particularly the field hockey team – has amassed a slew of awards. The team is only four years old and has attracted top athletes. This year, Pace University’s field hockey program made history, placing first in the Northeast Conference’s 2017 Team Excellence Awards and tallying the most wins in the country (18), winning the Northeast-10 Conference’s regular season championship (13-0 record), reaching as high as the #2 DII team in the country, and finishing the season #1 in the East Region before advancing all the way to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals.

Individually, the team’s players and coaches have garnered accolades. Pace Field Hockey’s all female staff was named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s (NFHCA) East Region Coaching Staff of the Year with head coach Kayte Kinsley being selected as the NE10’s Coach of the Year; senior Paige Predmore (Harrisburg, PA/Susquehanna Township) was named a Longstreth/NFHCA Division II First Team All-American; seniors Jane Kasparian (Mahopac, NY/Mahopac) and all-time points leader Halley Rose (Dauphin, PA/Central Dauphin)were named Longstreth/NFHCA Division II Second-Team All-Americans; while Synapse Sports named Predmore and Rose First-Team All-Americans.Additionally, rookie phenom Grace Henderson (Kingswood, South Australia/Unley) was named to Synapse Sports’ All-Rookie Team after she finished second in the nation in goals-against average and led the country in total wins –stats that earned her the honor of NE10’s Rookie of the Year.Off the field of play, these young women finished the fall 2018 semester with a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.66 with four Setters earning perfect 4.0 GPAs.

The field hockey program’s success is in part due to progressive leadership and forward-thinking initiatives that have attracted Westchester standouts and top international prospects, as well as donors who recognize the University’s promise.

In February, Pace University Athletics received a $1 million gift from B.J. Finnerty, the wife of the late Peter X. Finnerty to support the program and honor the legacy of her late husband who was a coach and the father of the Pace Athletics program. A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Athletics Fund, which will provide for the ongoing care, maintenance and improvement of Peter X. Finnerty Field, which serves as the home for the Pace baseball and field hockey teams, as well as for other activities such as intramural sports for Pace students.

While the field hockey team is the most notable example, women involved in Pace athletics have proven to be a pivotal catalyst behind creating a vibrant atmosphere and complete college experience.

Over the course of the last school year, 12 of Pace University’s 14 varsity teams competed in the NE10 conference championship tournaments while two-thirds of all spring athletes had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.The women on Pace’s softball team earned their third NCAA Tournament bid in four years after the Setters won a share of the NE10 Southwest Division Championship for the second time in three years. At the same time, the Women’s Lacrosse team put together top marks in both wins (15) and NE10 wins (10) before hosting and winning their first-ever NE10 Championship Playoff Game in their fourth season as a program.

Community engagement is also a focal point for athletes on campus. The third annual Pride Hoops event this past December served to not only support the LGBTQ community but to help nearly 500 students interact with others outside their immediate social circles around both varsity basketball teams. Similarly, members of the Pace University’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) were the driving force behind inviting the Harris Project, the only non-profit in the nation committed to the prevention and treatment of co-occurring disorders (COD), to the Pleasantville campus last September to host the nation’s first co-occurring disorder awareness walk. In attendance were members of Pace’s Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Basketball, Soccer, Softball and Field Hockey teams.

Ultimately, Pace University champions student athletes who strive to showcase athletic achievement, academic excellence, and community support. Now more than ever, the rest of us can appreciate the examples set forth by the women leading this next generation of Setters and perhaps, someday, celebrate with the university community when one varsity program wins an elusive first national championship. Based on recent history, don’t be surprised if it’s the ladies of field hockey who reaches that goal soon – so regardless of what’s streaming each month, best have your popcorn ready.

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