Maddy (Siegrist) Madness


Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Siegrist is on pace to become the Villanova all time leading scorer, men or women, this season.

Aphrodite Dimopoulos, Staff Writer

Big East Player of the Year, USBWA third team All American, Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year, led the Big East and ranked second in the country in scoring, registered 21 20-point games including nine 30-point performances, has 51 career 20-point games and 17 career 30-point efforts, posted 12 double-doubles and has 37 for her career, scored double figures in points in all 27 games. These are not even half of the achievements senior forward Maddy Siegrist accomplished in the 2021-2022 season alone. 

When you think of Villanova women’s basketball, Siegrist is one of the first people that comes to mind. As she enters her final year with a Villanova jersey, there is a lot to both reflect on and look forward to for the star. Starting off four years ago, in the 2018-2019 season, Siegrist was redshirted. She didn’t take this decision lightly. 

“I had no idea,” Siegrist said. “(Former head coach) Harry (Perretta) and I fought about that a lot. I didn’t want to redshirt at all. He traditionally redshirted players and I was like, ‘Nope, I’m not going to redshirt.’ Of course I got hurt but even after that I was a little like, maybe I’ll come back. But Harry and Coach Joe (Mulaney) helped me a lot that year. They told me I didn’t have to rush it. I just wanna play so badly at that time. I’m grateful that they were adults and helped me see it.” 

Perretta retired after Siegrist’s sophomore season, breaking up her undergraduate career between two coaches, as Denise Dillon took over before the 2020-21 season. When asked about that transition, Siegrist talked about the fluidity of the process. 

“I think it was a really smooth transition,” Siegrist said. “I mean, obviously it’s always different when you go from one coach to another, but I was fortunate I got to be coached by two really great coaches and I think when someone’s your coach, they’re your coach for life. Fortunately, Harry’s very much still around the program which has been great. And then Coach Dillon, just to have the opportunity to play for her has been incredible.” 

Looking back at the ankle injury that Siegrist dealt with her redshirt year, Siegrist recalls a time of struggle. Dealing with the pain of not being able to play, Siegrist relied heavily on her faith. While she grew up in a Catholic family, a true dedication to a commitment to her faith came when she was alone in college and had to make that decision for herself. From starting off on Sundays only to start going to the Tuesday and Thursday Masses as well, Siegrist found comfort in that community. 

“I realized a lot more people than you think would go,” Siegrist explained. “Harry used to go all the time, Lynn Tighe, Mark Jackson, and more. People that you respect in the athletic program. For me it’s always been important to keep your faith first because, in sports, there’s so many unknowns and it’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety, what’s next, the doubt, and the fear.”

All of her preparation off the court helps Siegrist when she steps on the floor. Entering her senior season means that Siegrist has had three seasons of Villanova basketball under her belt. When looking back, her best and proudest moments are actually two different ones. 

“Well, the best moment I think was beating UConn last year, that was incredible,” Siegrist said. “Best moment at a Villanova game was probably Harry’s last game with DePaul in the Pavilion. Obviously I was proud of our whole team with the UConn win, but our win against BYU in the NCAA Tournament stands out. I was just proud of everyone. You know, we didn’t play great in the first half in that game and then we were able to really come back in the second half. That was a proud moment.”

Consistency on the court is what has made comebacks like the BYU game possible for this Villanova team. Specifically, Siegrist is known for being a key player on the court and for being completely active and involved every second she plays. Another Villanova alum, Mary Gedaka, was also recognized for those same qualities and, when asked which player she looks up to, Siegrist spoke on Gedaka’s influence on her as a player. 

“She was really steady,” Siegrist said. “She was consistent. I think that’s important as a leader and as a strong player. You want to be consistent. You can’t be hot and cold, and obviously you’re gonna shoot good some nights you’re gonna shoot not well some nights. There’s some things that you can control. You could always make sure you’re hustling, rebound extra possessions on the floor, things like that to put yourself in a good spot. So I think watching her when I was a freshman and sophomore, really gave me something to look up to.”

When talking about Maddy Siegrist, you have to mention her points total. Scoring 583 in her freshman year, 548 as a sophomore, and 684 in her junior year, Siegrist is now on pace to become Villanova basketball’s all-time leading scorer. The title is currently held by Shelly Pennefather, who scored 2,408 points in her career. When asked about the record, Siegrist showed how humble she is. 

“I mean, I try not to think about it,” Siegrist said. “Shelly is an unbelievable player and person. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with her before and it’s just incredible to even be in the same sentence as her. If something like that happens, it happens. I don’t think I’m as good a player as she is, but you know, it’s just an honor to be in the same sentence.” 

Looking ahead, Siegrist isn’t sure what plans are in store for her after this season.

 “We’ll see what happens,” Siegrist said. “You have to have faith. Unfortunately, I don’t have the crystal ball. However God’s plan is gonna unfold, it’s gonna unfold and I think every opportunity after this year is gonna be great. I think I have a lot of basketball left, whether it’s here, professionally, wherever. So I’m excited for it.”