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UD field hockey team starts quest for another nat'l championship

The University of Delaware field hockey team begins defense of its NCAA national championship later this week.

The Blue Hens are back in the NCAA Division I tournament for fifth straight year after grabbing the Colonial Athletic Association title and its automatic tourney bid with 3-0 win over No. 19 William & Mary in Sunday’s in the CAA title game.

The defending national champs, currently ranked 8th in the nation, face a tough first round NCAA tourney draw – dueling 5th ranked Penn State Saturday at the University of Connecticut.


“Our players group has grown so much throughout the course of our regular season and CAA Tournament, and with the 2016 National Championship experiences gained and lessons learned, we can be confident in our preparation for our opening game versus Penn State,” said head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof in a statement.

Delaware and Penn State faced off earlier this season, with UD coming up with a 2-0 victory.

UD is 15-4.  Penn State is 16-4 and coming off a 1-0 loss to Number 3 Michigan in the Big 10 championship game.

Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m.  


The winner will likely face top-ranked Connecticut in round two.  UConn hosts the survivor of Thursday’s play-in game between Fairfield and Boston University in Saturday’s other first round game at UConn.

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.