Villanova Women’s Basketball sets new program record for wins
The Women’s Basketball team took the Nova Nation on a thrilling journey during the 2022-23 season. Advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years, the Wildcats tallied a 30-7 record and ended the regular season ranked No. 10 nationally.
Picked as a No. 4 seed for the tournament, the Wildcats hosted first and second round games on campus in the Finneran Pavillion. Decisive victories over Cleveland State and Florida Gulf Coast University in front of the home crowd sent them to Greenville, S.C., to face the University of Miami. Although the season ended with a tough 70–65 loss to Miami, it was truly a run that will be long-remembered by college basketball fans who packed the Finn and cheered on a roster of talented players for their hardwork, grit and determination.
Helping firmly put the women’s team on the national map, Head Coach Denise Dillon ’96 CLAS reached a trio of milestones in the second-round win over Florida Gulf Coast. She earned her 400th career win, broke a 41-year old record for most games won by the women’s team in a season and achieved back-to-back NCAA tournament wins.
Team captain Maddy Siegrist was the player to watch all season, capturing national attention for her dazzling feats on the court, as well as for her poise, sportsmanship and leadership.
The nation’s leading scorer with 29.2 points per game, Siegrist toppled several long-standing records during the 2022–23 season. She surpassed Shelly Pennefather ’87 CLAS, now Sister Rose Marie, as Villanova Basketball’s all-time leading scorer for both men and women with 2,896 points.
That milestone was just the start of Siegrist’s season of broken records and superlatives.
Here’s just a few stats from Siegrist’s star-making year:
- Holds the scoring records for the BIG EAST and the Philadelphia Big 5
- Scored 20-plus points in 37 straight games, and 1,081 points this season (the second-highest total ever recorded in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history)
- One of four finalists for both the Naismuth Player of the Year and the Wade Trophy and one of five finalists for the Wooden Award
- First player in program history to be named a first team All-American by the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association
- Named BIG EAST Player of the Year (for the second time) and Scholar Athlete of the Year
- Winner of the 2023 Katrina McLain Award, recognizing the top power forward in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball
“Maddy is the heart of this tremendously talented team, and she is truly deserving of all of the honors and awards she's received.”
Denise Dillon ’96 CLAS
Three days after the Wildcats’ season ended, Siegrist, who earned her bachelor’s degree in 2022 and will graduate with her master’s this spring, announced that she was entering the WNBA draft. On April 10, she was the third overall pick in the draft, and will launch her professional career with the Dallas Wings. Siegrist thanked her family, Dillon, retired coach Harry Perretta ’95 MA, who recruited her to Villanova, and her teammates.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to have been a Villanova Wildcat,” Siegrist says. “My college basketball career was everything that I dreamed of and more. However, when I look back on my career, it is the people at Villanova and the relationships that I made that I am going to cherish forever.”