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UD scores opening round win in NCAA field hockey tournament

The University of Delaware is moving on in the NCAA Division I field hockey tournament.

The Blue Hens, ranked 8th nationally, edged number 9 Louisville 1-0 in a first round contest at Duke.

It’s the first time since 1982 that UD has advanced out of the opening round NCAA field hockey tourney.

"Today’s game was a true NCAA Tournament game, and credit to Louisville as they put it to us in the second half.  We were able to showcase some pretty good defense but created some of our own problems as we didn’t create enough quality possession and attacking opportunities in the second half," said UD head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof.  "I also would like to give a big compliment to my team as they stayed in the fight, believed in themselves, worked together and played team defense for most of the second half. It was a nail-biter."

Maura Zarkoski’s first half goal on a cross from Lisa Giezeman was all the Hens needed as they extended their team record win streak to 16 straight.

“There are no words. I saw Lisa winding up and I knew where it was going to go. It was awesome to get it for the team,” said Zarkoski.

Delaware also got sox saves from goalie Emmeline Oltmans, five in the second half as she notched her fourth shutout of the season and eighth of her career.

"I made some saves, but that’s only because my teammates did their job," said Oltmans. "We started off strong, but got in some trouble in the second half. We won in the end and that’s the most important part."

The 20-2 Blue Hens will face top-ranked Duke on its home turf in second round action Sunday at 2 pm.

Duke topped American University 3-0 in its first round contest Saturday.

The Blue Hens have never beaten Duke.  They are 0-9 all-time against the Blue Devils – including a 5-1 loss last season.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for nearly three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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