Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cheri Goddard into VU Varsity Club Hall of Fame

Cheri Goddard will be inducted into the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame at its annual meeting in March of next year. Hailing from the program at Saratoga Springs (NY), while at Villanova Goddard was an 11-time All American and part of 5 Penn Relays Championship of America winners for the Wildcats. She was also part of Villanova's four consecutive NCAA cross country titles in 1989 (when she finished 56th at the national meet), 1990 (28th), 1991 (31st), and 1992 (7th). She was NCAA runner-up over 3000 meters (to teammate Nnenna Lynch) at the 1992 NCAA outdoor meet in Austin, Texas. In her post-Villanova career, Goddard won the 1999 USA 5K road title with her win at Freihofer's.
Cheri Goddard was a member of the 2001 USA World Cross Country team, and finished 59th at the world championship short-course race that year in Spain. At the USA indoor championships, Goddard finished 2nd in the 3000 meters each year in 1997, 1999, and 2001. As various points in the latter half of the 1990s Goddard was ranked in the top 10 in the USA at 1500 meters (1995, 1998, 2001), 3000 meters (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001), 5000 meters (1995-1998; 2000-2001), and 10,000 meters (1997).

Here is the official Villanova announcement of the new class of inductees:

Varsity Club Hall of Fame Announces 2011 Induction Class

Nov. 15, 2011

VILLANOVA, Pa.--The induction class of 2011 to the Villanova University Varsity Club Hall of Fame was announced today and nine new members will be formally inducted at the 36th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner this coming March. Each of the nine former student-athletes represents a different sport and their inductions will push the Varsity Club to over 400 members in the Hall of Fame. In addition, the annual Jake Nevin Award will be presented to Kevin Ryan '71.

The Hall of Fame Awards Dinner will be held on campus at the Connelly Center on Friday, March 2 and the honorees will also be recognized at halftime of the basketball game against St. John's on Saturday, March 3 at the Wells Fargo Center. Ticket information for the Awards Dinner will be announced at a later date and will be available for purchase online at

The members of the 2011 Hall of Fame induction class are Jack Stanczak (baseball), Kerry Kittles (men's basketball), Michele Thornton (women's basketball), Andy Talley (football), John Haggarty (men's lacrosse), Jean Hajjar (women's soccer), Sarah Dykstra (women's swimming), Cheri Goddard (women's track & field), Becky Kulbago (volleyball) and Kevin Ryan (Jake Nevin Award winner).

Below are capsules of each of the nine honorees.


Stanczak played three seasons for the Wildcats and was a draft pick of the Texas Rangers in the 1992 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He ranks in the top 10 in program history in home runs (31), total bases (322) and runs batted in (151) and is one of only seven players in school history to hit .400 or better for a season. Stanczak was named a Baseball America Freshman All-America second team selection in 1990 and was a starter on the 1991 team that won a BIG EAST title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career with a .356 batting average, 132 runs scored, 192 hits, 151 runs batted in, 33 doubles, 31 home runs, 322 total bases, 87 walks and 13 stolen bases. Stanczak was an eighth round draft pick of the Rangers in the 1992 draft.


Kittles is the Villanova all-time record holder in career points (2,243) and steals (277) and is also the only player in program history with a combination of at least 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals. Including both career and single-season lists Kittles owns 15 individual school records. As a junior in 1994-95 he was a first team Associated Press All-American and was chosen as the BIG EAST Player of the Year. Kittles was a three-time first team All-BIG EAST selection and during his junior season led the conference in scoring with 23.2 points per game. Villanova won 71 games during his final three seasons and Kittles eventually went on to play nine years in the NBA.


During her Villanova career Thornton was an All-BIG EAST selection and a four-time All-Big Five pick. She ranks eighth in school history in career assists (409) and is 14th in points scored (1,261) while also accumulating 385 career rebounds. As a freshman in 1991-92 she was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie squad, was the Big Five Rookie of the Year and earned second team All-Big Five honors. She went on to earn second team accolades from the Big Five again as a sophomore and junior before garnering first team laurels and an All-BIG EAST nod as a senior in 1994-95. Villanova won 58 games during her career, including a 19-9 record her senior year.


In his nearly 30 years at Villanova, Andy Talley can feel responsible for every facet of the football program, having started it from scratch in 1985. Talley has won nearly 200 games in his Wildcat coaching career and is the all-time leader in conference victories in CAA Football. Talley reached the pinnacle of college football in 2009 when he led Villanova to the FCS national championship, part of a dominant four-year run in which the Wildcats won 40 games and made three straight playoff appearances. Overall, Talley has led his Villanova teams to the playoffs on nine occasions. He has also coached two Walter Payton Award winners (top player in FCS football) and 14 first team All-Americans.


Haggarty wound up his collegiate career as one of the top scorers in the history of the Villanova program. He ranks third in school history in career goals (119) and is fifth in career points (142) while owning the single-season program record for goals per game (3.45). His career stats include 119 goals, 23 assists and 142 points. During his career Haggarty helped lead the Wildcats to 26 victories, including an 11-1 record as a junior in 1984.


Hajjar played four years for the Wildcats during one of the most successful stretches in the program's history. Villanova went 42-22-11 (.633) during her career and won the 1987 ECAC title. Individually, Hajjar ranks in the top 10 in school history in four career categories, including points (90), goals (37), shots (192) and game-winning goals (10). In addition, she is among the single-season leaders at Villanova in the following categories: shots (75), game-winning goals (6), points (32 and 29) and goals (13).


Dykstra finished her stellar Villanova career as a four-time All-American and a nine-time BIG EAST champion. She also helped the Wildcats capture the team title at the BIG EAST Championships all four years of her career. Dykstra was an All-American her senior year in the 50 yard freestyle, 400 free and the 200 yard freestyle relay. She was also an All-American in the 200 free relay as a sophomore in 1993. Her BIG EAST titles include the 200 free relay three times, the 400 free relay on two occasions, the 200 medley relay twice and individual titles in both the 50 free and the 100 free.


During her collegiate career Goddard was a part of national champion cross country teams all four years and was one of the team's top seven runners at the NCAA Championships each season. On the track she was a nine-time BIG EAST champion, including seven indoor titles and two outdoor titles. Her BIG EAST championships include five relays and four individual titles and she holds a school record as part of the 6,000 meter relay team that registered a time of 17:18.10 at the Penn Relays on April 26, 1990. During her career Goddard ran the eighth-fastest 3000 meters in school history (9:10.30) and was a five-time relay champion at the Penn Relays.


Kulbago helped Villanova win 98 matches and post a .645 winning percentage during her career. She was a first team All-BIG EAST selection as a senior in 1993 and ranks among the all-time leaders in program history in seven career categories. Kulbago ranks second in program history in kills (1,668) and attacking attempts (4,193) and is also third in aces (153), third in solo blocks (116), third in matches played (144), fourth in block assists (263), fourth in hitting percentage (.275) and fourth in kills per game (3.36).


During his time at Villanova, Kevin Ryan became a respected figure with the men's lacrosse program as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach. Ryan was a part of the program during its years as a club sport on campus and helped lay the foundation that propelled the team into a successful varsity program and a prominent team on the national lacrosse scene.

As a student-athlete for the Wildcats, Ryan played from 1968-71 and accumulated more goals, assists and points during his career than any of his contemporaries. He made an immediate impact on the team with eight goals and 13 assists as a freshman and upon his graduation was admitted to the prestigious Villanova School of Law.

Ryan was named the head coach of the junior varsity lacrosse team in 1972 and was also the only assistant coach for the varsity squad. While balancing a full schedule in his first year of law school he also helped lead the Wildcats to a 12-3 record during the 1972 season. The head coach of that team, Avery Blake, retired following the 1972 season and Ryan was named as his successor.

Ryan coached Villanova for the 1973 and 1974 seasons and led the Wildcats to a 20-8 record in those two seasons, with 10 victories each year. The members of those teams cited Ryan's grit, determination and leadership as the reasons for the Villanova program thriving under his guidance. Villanova consistently played against and registered decisive victories against some of the top collegiate lacrosse programs in the country while Ryan was head coach. Ryan was inducted into the Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2002.

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