A third-quarter goal by Hailey Bitters led the 15th-ranked Saint Joseph's field hockey team to a 2-1 win over #20 UMass in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game at VCU's Cary Street Field on Saturday afternoon.
These impressive 16 women, (full list is below – biographies can be found here) are each difference makers and have paved the way for creating and protecting opportunities for girls and women in sport and intercollegiate athletics throughout their careers.
The Trailblazers celebration is part of the Atlantic 10's yearlong celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, federal legislation that was passed in June of 1972. The Title IX Trailblazers will be recognized and honored with in-arena banner displays at both Chase Fieldhouse for the Women's Basketball Championship and Barclays Center for the Men's Basketball Championship. The honorees will also be celebrated on social media throughout the league and locally on each A-10 campus.
A member of the Hawks from 2012-15, Natasha Cloud was an integral part in her three-year playing career on Hawk Hill. A two-time team captain, Cloud remains in the hierarchy of the St. Joe's record book. A Broomall, Pa. native, Cloud holds the record for most assists (243) in a single season. Cloud is one of just three players in program history to record 1,000 points and 350 assists, sitting 23rd all-time in scoring (1,049) and third all-time in assists (582).
A second-round draft pick for the Washington Mystics, Natasha Cloud soon converted an A-10 Championship into a WNBA Championship in 2019. Entering her eighth season playing in the league, Cloud comes off her best individual season in her career, topping the league in assists (7.0 per game) while tallying a career-best 10.7 points per contest. The league's best playmaker also proved to be one of the best defensively in the league, earning WNBA First Team All-Defensive Team laurels.
After winning the WNBA Championship, Natasha hung up her jersey for the 2020 season to step back from basketball and focus on raising awareness and cultivating discussion on racial injustice. Over the course of her career, activism has played a large role in both Cloud's on and off-court persona. Cloud has long been a vocal leader in the fight for racial justice, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and gun reform. Maybe most notably, Cloud helped spearhead using Capital One Arena as a voting center, becoming one of the District of Columbia's largest centers.
Natasha Cloud became the first WNBA player to have a player exclusive shoe with Converse as the company sought to re-enter the basketball market. The two partnered in 2020 with her first shoe being released in 2021.
Title IX Trailblazers
|Debbie Richardson, Atlantic 10
Rebecca Stimson, Davidson
Dr. R. Elaine Dreidame, Dayton
Amy Alger Irvin, Duquesne
Anne Gregory O'Connell, Fordham
Jen Derevjanik, George Mason
Elana Meyers Taylor, George Washington
Linda Hester, La Salle
|Roz Iasillo, Loyola Chicago
Dr. Kathy Coyner, Massachusetts
Lauren E. Anderson, Rhode Island
Mary Sue Terry, Richmond
Barb Questa, St. Bonaventure
Natasha Cloud, Saint Joseph's
Marilyn Nolen, Saint Louis
Pat Stauffer, VCU
This news article originally appeared on sjuhawks.com