NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware field hockey team begins the road to a Colonial Athletic Association title this weekend as the Blue Hens host William & Mary (Friday; 7 p.m.) and James Madison (Sunday; 1 p.m.) at Rullo Stadium.

UD, currently 6-3 this season, was predicted to finish fourth in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll while the Tribe (4-5; 1-0 CAA) was slated to finish fifth.  The Dukes (5-5; 0-1 CAA) were projected to be ahead of both teams in the third slot.

Admission is free and open to the public to all Delaware field hockey games held at Rullo Stadium.

Live stats for this weekend’s contests will be available via

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     · Sophomore Michaela Patzner leads Delaware with seven goals and two assists for 16 points in addition to two game-winning goals.  She is ranked in the CAA with points (fourth), points per game (third; 33rd NCAA), goals (third), goals per game (third; 26th NCAA) and game-winning goals (third).
     · Patzner has 14 career goals, tied for second on the team behind junior Kelsey McKee (20) and senior Kasey Prettyman (14).
     · Freshman Meghan Winesett is currently second on the team with four goals and two assists for 10 points.  She is ranked in the CAA with points (ninth), points per game (eighth), goals (sixth) and goals per game (sixth).
     · Senior Heather Hartman leads the Hens with 13 career assists, a mark that ties for 19th all-time in UD history.
     · Three freshmen (Winesett, Esmée Peet, Maddie O’Beirne) have collected at least seven points this season.
     · Senior Sarah Scher has started 14 consecutive games for Delaware (dating to last year) and has collected 46 saves while allowing just 18 goals in 633:05 minutes of play this season.  She is second in the CAA with a 1.99 goals against average (35th NCAA) and third with a save percentage of .719 (41st NCAA).
     · Current Delaware assistant coach Lynn Farquhar spent two seasons with the Dukes as the associate head coach before joining the Blue Hens.
     · UD is 78-60 (.565) all-time at Rullo Stadium and the Hens have won four straight at home.
     · Delaware was ranked No. 16 in the NFHCA Coaches Poll earlier this season.
     · The Blue Hens currently hold a RPI of 20 in the most recent NCAA poll.
     · The Hens are currently second in the CAA in scoring margin (+0.66; 29th NCAA), scoring average (2.65; 25th NCAA), goals scored (2.67; 27th NCAA) and goals allowed (18).  Additionally, UD is third in goals against average (1.99; 36th CAA) and goals scored (24).

     · The all-time series between Delaware and William & Mary is knotted up at 8-8.  The two teams split games last season as the #19 Tribe defeated the Blue Hens, 4-0, in Williamsburg.  UD responded with a 3-2 victory a few weeks later in the quarterfinals of the CAA Tournament, held at Drexel.
     · James Madison has won four straight contests against Delaware and holds an all-time series advantage of 9-5.  Last season, the Dukes picked up a 3-2 overtime victory over the Hens in Harrisonburg.

The Tribe kicked off CAA play last Saturday with a 4-3 win over James Madison in Williamsburg and have won their last two games after dropping five straight.  W&M had three players selected for the preseason All-CAA team in Jesse Ebner, Pippin Saunders and Chaney Manganello.  The Tribe have five players over the five-point mark so far this season and are led by Saunders with 13 points on four goals and five points (second CAA).  Senior Taylor Hodge and freshman Olivia Hajek each have contributed three goals and one assist for seven points for the Tribe.  W&M has seen three goalies this season, with the majority of the team’s minutes in goal split between Cate Johnson (335:40) and Meredith Savage (268:19).  Johnson is 3-2 with 21 saves while Savage has posted a 1-3 record with 17 saves.  At the end of August, the Tribe’s legendary head coach, Peel Hawthorne, transitioned from the sidelines into the role of Associate Athletics Director for Student Services and Senior Woman Administrator at William & Mary.  Hawthorne previously coached the Tribe for 26 seasons.  Tess Ellis, a 17-year assistant coach under Hawthorne, succeeds the icon on the sidelines.

The Dukes have lost two straight games to W&M and No. 4 Virginia prior to this weekend.  JMU leads the CAA in eight categories, including scoring margin (1.40; 17th NCAA), scoring average (3.30; 10th NCAA), shutouts (2), shots (180), shots per game (18.00), goals scored (33), goals scored per game (3.30; 11th NCAA), assists (20) and penalty corners (71).  The Dukes return a trio of second team All-CAA selections from a 2012 squad that reached the CAA tournament semifinals in Rachel Wein, Loes Stijntjes and Lena Wimmert.  Wimmert is the team’s lead goalie, posting 490:00 minutes with 26 saves and 17 goals allowed.  Redshirt sophomore Taylor West leads the conference with 23 points on 10 goals in addition to three game-winning goals.  West is ranked 10th nationally with 1.0 goals per game and 12th with 2.3 points per game.