Since the establishment of varsity women’s basketball at Philadelphia University in 1974, no team has enjoyed as much on-the-court success as the 1985-86 squad.
Led by head coach Julie Soriero and All-Americans Vincene Morris—a 1994 Philadelphia University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee—and Jill Burkert, the Rams accomplished a feat that has only been done once in the program’s history, reach the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The Rams earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance after posting a 22-5 regular season record, including a 79-63 triumph over the University of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia opened the tournament by defeating Slippery Rock 73-60 in the East Region Final. Morris paced the Rams with 19 points and nine rebounds. In the national quarterfinal round game, Morris went off for 32 points and 15 rebounds to help Philadelphia cruise to an 84-66 win over Central Connecticut and advance to the Final Four.
The season came to an end in the Final Four as the Rams were defeated by national runner-up North Dakota State 77-61.
Philadelphia finished the season with an overall record of 24-6 and earned the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II Team of the Year award. The 24 wins held up as the school record for seven seasons and currently are the fifth-most in program history.
Morris was tabbed as an American Women’s Sports Foundation (AWSF) Fast Break First Team All-American after leading the team with 24.8 points per game, 11.6 rebounds per game, and 70 steals. Burkert was an AWSF All-America honorable mention pick as she recorded 12.6 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game. Terry Troy contributed 12.7 points per game and dished out 128 assists.
|1985-86 Women's Basketball Team|
|Jill Burkert||Crystal Camper||Terry Coleman|
|Barb Damm-Riggs||Kim DeCave||Mary DiGennaro-Latina|
|Karen Keane||Connie Kramer - Co-Captain||Allyson Lavery|
|Rhonda McDuffie||Vincene Morris - Co-Captain||Val Ridge|
|Terry Troy||Julie Soriero - Head Coach||Ed Mullen - Assistant Coach|
|Karen Parker-Pollitt - Assistant Coach||Joe Panikowski|