NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware field hockey team continues to roll as the Blue Hens defeated Michigan State, 5-1, for their fourth straight victory Sunday afternoon at Rullo Stadium.

Delaware received two goals each from sophomore Michaela Patzner (Rosenheim, Germany) and redshirt freshman Maddie O’Beirne (Vienna, Va.).  Junior Rebecca Pepper (Lewes, Del.) added the final goal of the day for the Blue Hens (4-1).

Sophomore Jacki Coveleski (Lewes, Del.) registered her team-best third assist of the season on O’Beirne’s first goal while senior Toni Popinko (Oxford, N.J.) collected her first assist of the season on O’Beirne’s second tally.

For the first time this season, UD allowed the opponent to get on the scoreboard first as Michigan State junior Allie Ahern gave the Spartans (2-5) a 1-0 advantage in the 14th minute.

The Blue Hens didn’t back down, however, and collected five unanswered goals for the victory.


Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof – “Today was a great team effort and win.  I knew that the x-factor of me coaching at Michigan State for 12 years, that they [MSU] would give it their best shot.  They almost pulled it out earlier this weekend at Princeton and we were ready for that battle. 

The best thing about today’s offense was that three of the five goals were by different players and different players are getting involved with the buildup.  It means we continue to grow in our depth charts in all lines.  We scored five goals, but we also took control of Michigan State’s attack.”

Sophomore Michaela Patzner – “It’s great to beat a team like Michigan State as they’re one of the best teams in the country.  We came in as the underdog, but it’s not something that you can think about.  When I get the ball on the offensive end, I just don’t think about anything anymore.  It all just comes to me and I try to do what’s best for the team.”

Redshirt Freshman Maddie O’Beirne – “Our team is working to hard and to come out and win, 5-1, is incredible.  I hope we have this feeling after every game.  It feels like we fought a 12-round boxing match and in the end it paid off.  Each and every game, we’ve been fighting harder.  We’re being more and more physical and going for every ball.  If we lose it, we’re scrapping harder for it.  We realize that it’s so important to possess the ball in the circle and we need to get any touch that we can.”


  • Current Delaware head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof coached Michigan State for 12 years as a head coach and assistant coach.  During his five years as a head coach, Van de Kerkhof compiled a record of 74-34 with four NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Delaware has now collected five goals in two games this season after defeating Ohio, 5-2.  UD previously scored five goals in a single game on Sept. 24, 2011 in a 5-4 win at Saint Joseph’s.
  • UD is now 2-5 all-time against Michigan State, with the last victory coming in 2006.  The Spartans had previously won three straight against the Hens.
  • The Blue Hens have won four straight games, the team’s longest streak since the 2009 campaign when Delaware picked up nine consecutive victories.
  • Dating to last season, Patzner has scored at least one point in the last eight games.
  • Also dating to last season, Patzner has scored at least one goal in six of the last seven contests.
  • Patzner has 14 career goals, good for third on the team behind Kelsey McKee (20) and Kasey Prettyman (14).
  • O’Beirne is now second on the team with three goals for seven points.
  • Delaware is 78-60 (.565) all-time at Rullo Stadium, including four straight.


  • Friday, Sept. 20 – Delaware at No. 6 Penn State, 5 p.m., Penn State Field Hockey Complex (University Park, Pa.)
  • Sunday, Sept. 22 – Delaware at Bucknell, Noon, Graham Field (Lewisburg, Pa.)
  • Sunday, Sept. 29 – Delaware at Monmouth, 1 p.m., “So Sweet A Cat” Field (West Long Branch, N.J)