Women’s Sports Granted NCAA Status with Addition of Soccer, Cross Country, and Volleyball

Jul 6, 2007 — Female athletes at Yeshiva University are about to score big: over the next two years, the athletics department will add women’s soccer, cross country, and volleyball to its sports offerings, reaching NCAA status for women’s athletics for the first time and achieving full membership in the Skyline Conference, the New York City conference that competes in the NCAA’s Division III.

“This is very exciting news,” Joe Bednarsh, the university’s director of athletics, said. “We’ve doubled the number of varsity sports on the women’s side, and competing in the Skyline Conference allows our student-athletes the opportunity to compete against an upgraded schedule.”

The developments will allow the university’s athletes to have a superior experience on and off the playing field, Bednarsh said.

“Building new programs is a lofty challenge, but I believe we have the support from the YU community to make this initiative a successful one,” he said.

After competing as a club program in 2006, women’s soccer will begin varsity play during the upcoming season, with coaching by Jack Thelusma, former head men’s soccer coach. Women’s cross country and volleyball will operate as club programs during the fall of 2007. Cross country will be coached by Stanley Watson, Yeshiva College’s assistant athletic director and director of intramural athletics, and volleyball by Roxanne Prendergast, a 2006 team captain for Mount Saint Vincent who led her team to winning records during three of her four college seasons.

The women’s program will be overseen by Esther Goldfeder, the new assistant athletics director. Goldfeder, the former director of athletics at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, joined YU four years ago as assistant women’s basketball coach. In hiring Goldfeder, Bednarsh believes the infrastructure will be in place to allow for a successful building of the women’s programs during what is in many ways a new era for the Maccabees.

“Esther is an experienced athletics administrator who has developed fantastic ties to our community as an assistant coach,” Bednarsh said. “She has the patience and determination to oversee the development of a women’s athletics program that our entire community will continue to be proud of.”

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