Blue Hens Celebrate National Championship with Trip to Nationís Capitol
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the University of Delaware field hockey team continue to check off items on their bucket list as the Blue Hens recently celebrated winning the 2016 National Championship with a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit with Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden, a 1965 graduate of the University of Delaware, welcomed the team to the U.S. Naval Observatory, which serves as the Vice President’s residence during his tenure, and shared stories about his time at the University of Delaware, his family and post-term plans in addition to his favorite ice cream (‘chocolate chip’) and Internet memes.
He also urged the Hens to not let anyone come in the way of their dreams.
“You can do anything you want in life, you got it, anything,” stated Biden. “I’ve devoted my whole career to making sure my daughters and granddaughters have the same opportunities that my sons and grandson have.”
He continued to remind the team about the benefits of being student-athletes.
“I don’t think there’s anything that prepares you more in life than sports,” Biden commented. “You learn to lose, you don’t accept it, but you learn to do it gracefully. You learn to win. You know how to get up when you get knocked down. Life isn’t fair and things won’t always go your way, but you need to get back up.”
The Blue Hens also received a tour of the U.S. Capitol building and met with Delaware senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester earlier in the day.
The Blue Hens captured the first National Championship in program history during the 2016 campaign while finishing the year with a 19-game winning streak and an overall record of 23-2. Delaware ranked in the top four nationally in winning percentage, scoring average, goals per game, points per game, scoring margin and assists per game.
Rolf van de Kerkhof – Head Coach
"It's just wow. It's hard to describe in words. It's an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your lives, it shows how special this group has been."
Dennis Assanis - University of Delaware President
"The Vice President's heart belongs to the University of Delaware and to the state of Delaware, emotionally there's that connection, and we're working very hard to make that emotional connection a real connection. We obviously like to involve him within the university as much as his time allows."
Meghan Winesett - Senior Captain
“We never doubted that we could do it, but If you told me this six months ago, I probably wouldn't have believed you. To be invited here, we had no idea, it’s was a huge surprise. It's one of those things you kind of dream about, but it's pretty unreal to be here."
Maura Zarkoski - Senior Captain
“It shows what hard work can do for you. We worked so hard for it and to be recognized nationally and by Vice President Biden, especially from our tiny state of Delaware, is something else. Being put on the map and meeting Vice President Biden is the best feeling.”
Maggie Delp - Junior
"I never thought that we would win a national championship, like that's so crazy, and now we're at the Vice President's house and it's just kind of, kind of all hitting us at once, but it's really exciting."