NEWARK, Del. -- After opening the season with 10 of its first 12 games at home, the University of Delaware field hockey team takes to the road this weekend as the Blue Hens play Northeastern and Hofstra in Colonial Athletic Association action.
They Blue Hens will take on Northeastern on Friday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. before heading to Hofstra to battle the Pride on Sunday at 12 noon.
Scouting the University of Delaware Blue Hens (6-6, 1-1 CAA):
The Blue Hens are coming off a hard-fought loss at the hands of nationally No. 1 ranked Old Dominion on Sunday. The score was knotted at 0-0 as the horn sounded for the end of the first half, but ODU scored on a corner to head into the break up 1-0.
Delaware picked up its first CAA victory of the season in its conference schedule opener against William & Mary last Friday night. Kasey Prettyman (above right) tallied two scores for the Blue Hens while Kelsey McKee put the game away with her team-leading sixth goal with 5:39 left in regulation.
As a team, Delaware is second in the CAA in taking penalty corners, getting 7.75 corners a contest. The Hens are also third in the CAA in average goals scored, putting home 2.67 goals a game. Defensively, Delaware is first in the conference in saves per game, making 6.67 stops per match. They are also second in the CAA in overall saves, stopping 80 shots.
McKee’s six goals lead the team, but the Hens have used 13 separate goal scorers on the season. Kayla Schweitzer has not scored a goal, but leads the team in assists (5), making it 14 players who have contributed at least one point this year.
Schweitzer is on a streak of her own as she is approaching 70 consecutive starts in her career. She came into Delaware as a freshman in 2008 and has started every game since. The two matches this weekend will bring her mark to 70 career starts.
Scouting the Northeastern University Huskies (7-5, 2-2 CAA):
Friday’s contest will mark the end of five consecutive CAA games for the Huskies. They split the matches, losing the first two to William & Mary and Old Dominion before taking down James Madison and VCU last weekend.
The Huskies boast one of the top players in the CAA in Preseason Player of the Year Crystal Poland. She leads the CAA in shots, shots per game, points per game, goals, and goals per game. In addition, she leads the country in points per game (3.42) and goals per game (1.58).
Poland has more than quadrupled the second leading goal-scorer on the Huskies, tallying 19 goals and three assists for 41 points. Pam Aldridge is second on Northeastern, scoring four goals on the season.
Carolyn Malloy leads the Huskies in assists with 10 while Nicky Graham has collected nine. Malloy ranks eighth in the latest NCAA summary, averaging 0.92 assists per game, while Graham is 18th at 0.75 assists per contest.
Goaltender Lizzie Priest is tops in the CAA in saves (76) and saves per game (6.33) but only sixth in goals against average (2.28). She has given up 28 goals on the season and has a .731 saves percentage while playing every minute in the cage for the Huskies.
This is the 21st meeting between the two programs dating back to 1991. Northeastern leads the all-time series, 15-5, but Delaware took last year’s contest, 2-1, at Rullo Stadium.
Scouting the Hofstra University Pride (10-5, 3-1 CAA):
The Pride have won three straight and seven of their last eight contests leading up to Sunday’s clash with the Blue Hens. Hofstra is in the middle of a five-game home stand to close out its home schedule for 2011.
Reigning CAA Player of the Week Genna Kovar led the Pride to two conference victories last weekend, a 7-0 win over VCU and a 4-1 victory over James Madison. Kovar was also named the Women’sFieldHockey.com Player of the Week during the same time span.
Hofstra’s leading scorer this season with 19 goals and 14 assists for 50 points in 15 games, Kovar tallied four goals and six assists in the two contests. In the process, she broke several school records and inched closer to several more.
Kovar accounted for six of the seven goals in the 7-0 win over VCU, scoring three goals and adding a career tying best three assists. Her assist on the game’s opening goal was the 25th of her career, breaking the Hofstra all-time mark.
She followed that performance up with a goal and three more assists against JMU. Her first point of the day, an assist on the game-opening goal, broke the season points record of 45. Kovar’s third assist of the day broke the single season assist mark of 13 held by two players in 1998.
Kovar leads the CAA in points (50) and assists (14) and is second in goals. She also ranks second in the nation in points per game (3.33), fifth in goals per game (1.20), and sixth in assists per game (0.93).
The senior is now three goals away from breaking the school’s single season goal mark. Kovar is also four points from breaking the career points total of 127 and nine goals away from breaking the school record of 55 career goals.
Amanda Heyde has started all 15 games in goal for Hofstra but the Pride has used three different goalies this season. Heyde has made 76 stops while allowing 34 goals and carries a 2.48 goals against average.
This will be the 26th meeting between the two programs dating back to 1985. Delaware holds a 20-5 all-time record and has won the previous two meetings, including a 3-2 decision last season in Newark, Del.