CHANDLER, Ariz. – After rattling off four straight victories, including a shutout over then-No. 11 Temple, the University of Delaware field hockey team jumped into the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll with a No. 16 ranking Tuesday.
The Blue Hens (5-1) received 219 votes to move into the most recent rankings.
“It is great for our field hockey program to be recognized by the NCAA Division I coaches body for our performance thus far this season,” stated Delaware third-year head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof.  “The players and our staff deserve all the credit for being fully committed and invested in this team and in our program’s journey in 2013. Confidence and competitiveness are two key ingredients as to why this team is playing some beautiful and very strong ‘Delaware Hockey’ and why we continue to grow and improve as a team along the way. Although it is an honor to be ranked in the Top 20, our team’s approach remains the same and that is how we will prepare for the next practice or game. We will continue to take everything one day at a time.”
Delaware field hockey last received votes in the NFHCA rankings in 2011 when the Blue Hens picked up votes six times, but never entered the Top 20.
The Hens were last featured in the Top 20 during the 2009 campaign when they were ranked No. 11 in the final poll of the season.  That season, Delaware captured the Colonial Athletic Association title en route to the team’s fourth NCAA Tournament and eighth overall national tournament appearance.
Statistically, the Blue Hens rank in the top 20 in six NCAA Division I categories, including scoring average (12th; 3.14),  goals against average (18th; 1.32), scoring margin (13th; 1.82), winning percentage (ninth; 0.833), and points per game (16th; 8.33).
Sophomore Michaela Patzner (Rosenheim, Germany) and senior Sarah Scher (Pocomoke City, Md.) also appear in the top 10 in three individual statistical categories.  Patzner is currently eighth in points per game (2.67) and ninth with 1.17 goals per game while Scher is eighth with an .833 winning percentage.
UD looks for its fifth straight victory this coming Friday with a 5 p.m. contest at No. 12 Penn State.  The Blue Hens then travel to Bucknell for a noon match Sunday.