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DURHAM, N.C. – For the first time since 1982, the University of Delaware field hockey team moved past the NCAA Tournament First Round following a 1-0 victory over No. 9 Louisville Saturday afternoon at Duke’s Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.

With the win, the No. 8 Hens, who have now won 16 straight, advance to face top-seeded Duke at 2 p.m. Sunday in Second Round action. 

Senior Maura Zarkoski (Eagleville, Pa./Villa Maria) led Delaware (20-2) with the lone goal of the afternoon.  The midfielder gave the Hens the early lead in the ninth minute as she tapped in the cross from sophomore Lisa Giezeman (Leidschendam, The Netherlands/Sin-Maartens/Boerhaave) from the right side.

Delaware got all four of their shots in the first half as Louisville controlled possession in the second half and outshot the Hens, 11-4, in total.

Junior Emmeline Oltmans (Baarn, The Netherlands/Het Baarnsch Lyceum) was clutch for the Blue Hens with six saves, five of which came in the second half, for her fourth shutout of the season and eighth of her career.

Marigrace Ragsdale led the Cardinals (15-6) with three shots while Ayeisha McFerran collected one save on the day.

Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof
“Many people shared with me and the team good luck. I responded that we always will welcome luck, and looking back I know we had luck on our side a couple of times today. 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.  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 and I am excited as the Blue Hens will now play a great Duke squad for a ticket to the Final Four.”  

[On Emmeline Oltmans]: “You need to score goals to win the game, but you also need to play defense to stay alive. Emmeline, with her seven saves, all of which came in crucial moments, she really helped us win the game today.  A defender winning the game is pretty sweet, especially if it’s the goalie. I’m very proud of her and the way she remained level-headed, even when the pressure was on.  She found ways to impress and earned the win for us.”

Senior Tri-Captain Maura Zarkoski
“This is a great feeling for us to keep moving forward. We’re one step closer to our goal for us to do this is an awesome statement for me, my fellow seniors and our program as a whole. At this point, every opponent is tough. We just have to play Delaware hockey to continue the journey.”

[On scoring lone goal of the day]: “There are no words. I saw Lisa [Giezeman] winding up and I knew where it was going to go. It was awesome to get it for the team.”

Junior Emmeline Oltmans
“Louisville was a great opponent. Our defense did really well today, which really helped me. I made some saves, but that’s only because my teammates did their jobs. 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. Our first goal was to win the CAA and we accomplished that. With each game, we continue to step towards our ultimate goal for the season.”
     · Delaware is now 3-1 all-time against Louisville.
     · The Blue Hens are 5-7 in NCAA Tournament action since 1982.
     · Emmeline Oltmans became the 11th player in program history to reach 200 career saves and now has 205 for her three-year career.
     · Greta Nauck was held without a point for the first time since Sept. 30 against James Madison.
     · Sunday, November 13 – No. 8 Delaware at No. 1 Duke – NCAA Tournament Second Round – Williams Field at Jack Katz Field (Durham, N.C.)
     · Friday, November 18 – NCAA Tournament Semifinals – L.R. Hill Complex (Norfolk, Va.)
     · Sunday, November 20 – NCAA Tournament Final – L.R. Hill Complex (Norfolk, Va.)

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