Hens Outlast Liberty, 1-0, to Survive and Advance in NCAA Tournament
NEWARK, Del. – The defenses shined for both teams Wednesday afternoon and scoring was limited as the No. 14 University of Delaware field hockey team outlasted Liberty University, 1-0, in a NCAA Tournament Play-In Game, held at Rullo Stadium.
With the victory, Delaware (17-4) sets a new single-season win record. The Hens previously won 16 games in 1978, 1982 and 1988. Liberty snapped a 12-game winning streak and finishes the season with a mark of 17-5.
UD advances to play No. 3 North Carolina Saturday at 11:30 a.m. the Tar Heels’ Francis E. Henry Stadium.
The two teams held a scoreless tie until the 64th minute, when Delaware senior Kasey Prettyman (at right; Newark, Del.) scored her 10th goal of the season and the lone goal of the season on a penalty corner. Senior Heather Hartman (Fredericksburg, Va.) and sophomore Michaela Patzner (Rosenheim, Germany) assisted Prettyman on the play.
Coming in to the game, both teams were ranked in the top five in the nation while averaging over 3.3 goals per contest. Both teams were also in the top nine nationally with over 9.4 points per game.
Delaware senior goalie Sarah Scher (Pocomoke City, Md.) collected a game-high six saves while Liberty’s Ann Jefferis registered two saves on the day.
Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof – “We didn’t play very well in the first half, but we survived. We were fortunate today to stay in the game against a very good Liberty team and we remained poised to score the one goal that was just enough to pull out the win and advance to the next round.”
Senior goalie and tri-captain Sarah Scher (below left) – “Our seniors are doing an amazing job leading this team. We’ve been through so much together that this is how we want to leave our mark. We want to keep going to the best of our ability and not let anything slow us down.”
Senior Kasey Prettyman – “We started off a little rough, but after the first half we started playing more like ourselves by picking it up and doing more teamwork and passing. Liberty was really good at block tackling, staying low and really cutting off our dribbling, so it took some time to figure that out.”
· The last time Delaware won a NCAA Tournament game came in 1982 when the Hens picked up victories over Princeton (3-2), Temple (3-2) and Penn State (4-0).
· The last time UD scored less than three goals in a game came on Oct. 13 when Delaware lost to No. 9 Princeton, 2-1.
· Delaware has now posted seven shutouts this season.
· Liberty had only been shutout two other times this season.
· The Hens have won a season-high eight straight games.
· Delaware has outscored the last seven opponents, 29-4.
· The Blue Hens are 85-71 (.544) all-time at Rullo Stadium, including a mark of 11-1 this season.
· Heather Hartman now has 18 career assists, which ties her for ninth in program history with Brenda Lear (1991-94), Sue Samuel (1979-81) and Beth Manley (1983-86).
· Saturday, Nov. 16 – NCAA First Round – at #3 North Carolina – Francis E. Henry Stadium (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
· Sunday, Nov. 17 – NCAA Second Round – (with win) vs. #13 Wake Forest or #6 Old Dominion – Francis E. Henry Stadium (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
· Friday, Nov. 22 – NCAA Semifinals – (with win) Opponent TBA – L.R. Hill Sports Complex (Old Dominion University; Norfolk, Va.)
· Sunday, Nov. 24 – NCAA Finals (with win) Opponent TBA – L.R. Hill Sports Complex (Old Dominion University; Norfolk, Va.)