#19 Blue Hens Clinch Regular Season CAA Championship; Finish CAA Play 6-0 After 4-0 Win at Drexel
PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Michaela Patzner (Rosenheim, Germany) tallied two goals Friday as the #19 University of Delaware field hockey squad secured the first regular season Colonial Athletic Association title in program history with a 4-0 victory over Drexel at Buckley Field.
With the win, Delaware (13-4) also finishes the season with a perfect 6-0 record in CAA play. The Blue Hens have won four straight and have outscored opponents, 16-2, in the process. Drexel falls to 12-6 overall and 3-2 in the CAA.
As regular season champions, Delaware will serve as host to the four-team CAA Tournament Nov. 8-10 at Rullo Stadium. Complete pairings will be announced early next week.
Patzner (at left) led off the game for the Blue Hens with a penalty stoke in the third minute to take the 1-0 advantage.
The game remained scoreless for the next 35-plus minutes before senior Kasey Prettyman (Newark, Del.) gave Delaware a 2-0 lead in the 40th minute.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in the game, Patzner and freshman Meghan Winesett (Centreville, Va.) each score goals within a two-minute span to seal the game for the Blue Hens.
Delaware returns home Sunday to host Villanova at 1 p.m. The Blue Hens will honor their five seniors in addition to the teams’ academic advisors.
Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof – “This is a great tribute to our entire players’ group. I’m really excited for the seniors because they came along with me when I started here and they helped turn the program around. For them to be outright CAA champions after working on this goal for the last nine months is absolutely phenomenal. A great team effort results in a great team outcome. If you have seen how hard we have worked for us to get better and get in the position to be successful, it’s outstanding as far as the commitment from the players, support staff and administration.”
Senior Sarah Scher – “This is an unbelievable and amazing feeling, but like we always say, we will celebrate until midnight and after that it’s a brand new day. It’s a privilege to play in front of our home fans for the CAA Tournament. I think everybody realizes that it’s really exciting to be able to host and return home to Rullo Stadium. The last few games, our defense has been amazing. We are really close and it’s a really nice feeling because we’ve all figured out how to communicate and work off of each other. In the CAA, we just take it one play at a time and do what we have to do to take care of business.
Sophomore Michaela Patzner – [On winning the title], it’s awesome, especially against Drexel as we all know our history with them. I am just so happy that we won and now have the CAA championship. We’re definitely a home team and with all of our fans behind us, we will definitely play awesome at home. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
· Delaware has never won the CAA regular season championship.
· Delaware has also never gone undefeated in the CAA; however, in 1998, the Blue Hens completed seven seasons from 1982-1990 with unbeaten records in the East Coast Conference.
· UD has now reached the 13-win mark for the 15th time in 43 seasons of play.
· The Blue Hens have outscored the last three opponents, 13-0, and have posted six shutouts this season.
· Sophomore Michaela Patzner leads Delaware with 13 goals and five assists for 31 points. She now has 20 career goals, which ties with junior Kelsey McKee for active roster lead.
· Two freshmen (Meghan Winesett, Esmée Peet) have collected at least 20 points this season.
· Dating to last season, senior goalie Sarah Scher has started 22 straight games for Delaware. She has played all 1193:05 minutes for the Blue Hens this season and has collected 76 saves with 24 goals allowed. Scher is 12th in Delaware history with 163 career saves. Caroline Maloney is 11th all-time with 167 saves.
· The Blue Hens are 23-7 all-time against Drexel.
· Sunday, Nov. 4 – Villanova at #19 Delaware, 1 p.m., Rullo Stadium (Newark, Del.)
· Friday, Nov. 8 – CAA Semifinals, Opponent/Time TBA, Rullo Stadium (Newark, Del.)
· Sunday, Nov. 10 – CAA Finals, Opponent/Time TBA, Rullo Stadium (Newark, Del.)