Blue Hens Recognized as NFHCA National Academic Team
CHANDLER, Ariz. – In addition to superior play on the turf, the University of Delaware field hockey team also continues to excel in the classroom, as the Blue Hens were acknowledged Wednesday by the NFHCA as a 2016 ZAG Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award recipient.
Delaware has earned this recognition for the sixth straight season under head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof and his staff.
The award distinguishes those institutions that have achieved a Team GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year, a time when squads in the midst of their championship season.
The Blue Hens, who finished the year with a 19-game winning streak and an overall mark of 23-2, won the program’s first-ever National Championship in late November while achieving the team’s highest-ever semester GPA of 3.437.
“Congratulations are in place for another extraordinary accomplishment by our team,” remarked Van de Kerkhof. “Last season they came up with the mantra of ‘Fight Together – Win Together’ and they have done so impressively on and off the field. A team accomplishment is always the sum of individuals and for this group of individuals to come together as a group and becoming a strong and united team could only happen thanks to the commitment to themselves and each other, and the contributions they made to the group and our team.”
Van de Kerkhof continued, “For many years now our program has taken great pride in talking about our student-athletes being ‘true student-athletes’ in pursing excellence in academics and athletics. They have proven it to themselves year in and year out, and therefore earned the praise and respect of others. It comes to show once again that with the right mindset and priorities they can be winners from a GPA and games record prospective while at the same time enjoying their overall college experience and utilizing their time as student-athletes in becoming better people now and for the rest of their lives. As their head coach, I am very proud of their accomplishments and even more impressed with their ability to refocus and reset for the next semester and in a way starting all over again! Within our team and program setting we talk a lot on the direct correlation between level of maturity and intelligence, and the ability of obtainable success. Our current players group is mature and intelligent and therefore in the position to obtain academic and athletic success and positive experiences!”
A total of 76 NCAA Division I squads earned the National Academic Team Award.