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DURHAM, N.C. – The Blue Hens continue to rewrite program history as No. 8 Delaware came from behind to upset No. 1 Duke, 3-2, in overtime Sunday afternoon in NCAA Tournament Second Round action at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium.

The victory is the first-ever for the Hens over a first-ranked team and also the first-ever over the Blue Devils.  With the win, the Hens (21-2) advance to the NCAA Tournament Semifinals to the first time since 1982.

Delaware will now face No. 14 Princeton (12-7) in Friday’s semifinals action at Old Dominion’s L.R. Hill Complex. Game time is slated for 4:45 p.m. The winner will advance to play the victor between No. 4 North Carolina and No. 6 Connecticut in Sunday’s National Championship at 1 p.m.

Down 2-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore Greta Nauck  (at left; Krefeld, Germany/Gymnasium am Moltekeplatz) netted her 30th goal of the year off a penalty corner with assists from seniors Maura Zarkoski (Eagleville, Pa./Villa Maria) and Kayla Devlin (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis).

Freshman Ally Pollak (at right; Crofton, Md./Arundel) then tied the game at 2-2 in the 68th minute as she tapped it in at the back post. Devlin assisted on the goal.

Just three minutes in to the extra period, Nauck held a breakaway towards the south goal and tapped it in over goalie Sammi Steele from three yards out to clinch the victory.

Both teams were held scoreless for the first 50 minutes of the contest before Alyssa Chillano gave Duke (16-4) the 1-0 advantage. The Blue Devils continued their momentum as Aisling Naughton tapped in the ball in front of the cage for the 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.

Delaware junior Emmeline Oltmans (Baarn, The Netherlands/Het Baarnsch Lyceum) was crucial again for the Hens in the cage as she tied a career-high and set a new program NCAA Tournament record with 11 saves.

Steele finished the day with six saves for Duke.

Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof
“Wow! What an amazing experience and accomplishment for our program! I am so proud of, happy and excited for our players group, staff and all Blue Hens.  Back in February, we set out our quest to punch a ticket to the NCAA Final Four, and today we did just that.”

[On game action]: “This was a true Elite Eight game with a ticket to the Final Four on the line between two great teams.  We fought hard, had to dig deep, played some outstanding team and circle defense, including a tremendous goalkeeping performance by Emmeline [Oltmans]. We were fortunate to stay alive versus a well-playing Duke.  Although we trailed for most of the first sixty minutes, it was the last ten minutes that we decided to play Delaware Hockey. We finally displayed what we didn’t show enough of this weekend – great possession, creating scoring opportunities and making each other look good resulted in goals being scored and a change in momentum.  In overtime, we went out and played for the win, and we found a way on an amazing breakaway goal from Greta [Nauck].”

Sophomore Greta Nauck
“That is an excellent question, ‘What just happened?!’ We didn’t play Delaware Hockey in the first portion of the game. We didn’t follow our game plan, but we never stopped believing, even when we were down by two goals.  We’ve worked so hard to achieve our goal of reaching the Final Four. In the end, we played Delaware Hockey and finished the game strong.”

Junior Emmeline Oltmans
(at left) “We played a really exciting game against the No. 1 team in the country. They played extremely well, but we kept going and fighting. Our first goal this season was to get the CAA Championship and we’ve now reached our second goal of the Final Four. This really means a lot as we’ve all worked so hard to get to this point. We’ve won four CAA titles, but we’re not ready to stop playing.”


     · Delaware is now 1-8 all-time against Duke.
     · The Blue Hens are 6-7 in NCAA Tournament action since 1982.
     · Duke outshot the Hens, 23-13, and also held the 8-7 advantage in penalty corners.
     · Emmeline Oltmans moved past Stephanie Judefind (212; 1999-02) and Elaine Pomian (213; 1980-81) into ninth place in program history with 216 career saves.
      · Greta Nauck also continues to climb in the Delaware record books  and is tied for ninth all-time alongside Missy Meharg (1981-84) with 98 career points and 42 goals.
     · Friday, November 18 – No. 8 Delaware vs. No. 14 Princeton – NCAA Tournament Semifinals – 4:45 p.m.  –  L.R. Hill Complex (Norfolk, Va.)
     · Sunday, November 20 – NCAA Tournament Final – 1 p.m. – L.R. Hill Complex (Norfolk, Va.)

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