NEWARK, Del. -- After its longest road trip of the season, the University of Delaware field hockey team returns to Rullo Stadium and to Colonial Athletic Association action to host its final two contests of the year on Friday and Sunday.
The Blue Hens will take on fierce rival Drexel on Friday starting at 7 p.m. before welcoming Towson to Newark for their final home game of the regular season at 12 noon.
Prior to the contest on Sunday, head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof and the Delaware coaching staff will honor its three seniors Noelle Diana, Amanda McCardell, and Kayla Schweitzer for all their hard work and dedication during their tenure as Blue Hens.
Scouting the University of Delaware Blue Hens (6-9, 1-3 CAA):
The Blue Hens look to snap their four-game skip this weekend as they have dropped three straight CAA matches and a non-conference contest. After starting off on the right foot in conference play with a win over William & Mary, the Hens dropped CAA games to #1 ODU, Northeastern, Hofstra and a non-conference matchup against #16 Albany last Sunday.
Freshman Kelsey McKee leads all Blue Hens with 20 points, scoring eight goals while adding four assists. She also leads the team with 54 shots and 33 shots on goal.
She tallied her team-leading third penalty stroke against Hofstra on October 9, cutting the Pride’s lead to 2-1 in the first half. McKee leads the CAA in strokes and is now 3-3 on the season. Other than Northeastern, she alone has attempted more strokes than each of the teams in the conference. NU’s Crystal Poland is 2-2 on the year while the Huskies are 3-3.
Schweitzer has now started in all 71 games since becoming a Blue Hen in 2008. The Manheim, Pa. native is going to have a tough time catching the Blue Hen record for games played, however, as Erica LaBar played 84 from 2000-2004, also all consecutive starts.
Kasey Prettyman has scored five goals and has contributed two assists while Tory Sharpless has five goals and an assist to round out the Blue Hens with double-digit points.
Goalkeeper Noelle Diana is seventh among active leaders in goalie minutes, racking up 3,923 through her career. She is also eighth among active goalies with 320 career saves. She has made 99 stops this season, carrying a 3.32 goals against average.
Scouting the Drexel University Dragons (10-5, 3-2 CAA):
The Dragons are coming off a five-game home stand as they went 3-2 over that span. They defeated Towson, William & Mary and Louisville, but dropped a pair of one-goal games to California and Old Dominion.
Last time out, Drexel defeated #20 Louisville, 2-1, to improve to 8-2 at home this season. Freshman Christina Conrad took a pass from Elise DiDonato on a loose ball in front to score the first goal in the first half. Elizabeth Koch made it 2-0 with a pass from Mariel Marinelli from the end line.
For the second time this season, Conrad has been named the CAA Rookie of the Week, after scoring her sixth goal of the season against the Cardinal. She also has three assists and 15 points this year.
Amanda Fleischut leads the Dragons with 19 points (eight points and three assists) while Ashley Santee, Conrad and DiDonato also have reach double figures in points.
Drexel has used three goalies this season, but Kim Chiarelli has logged the most minutes. She has a 2.02 GAA while making 38 saves. She is 5-3 on the year. Brooke Underwood is 4-1 on the season, making 15 stops, and carries a 1.80 GAA.
This will be the 26th meeting between the two rivals dating back to 1985. Delaware leads the all-time series, 19-6, but Drexel has won five of the last six meetings.
Scouting the Towson University Tigers (8-8, 2-3 CAA):
The Tigers come into Newark losers of two straight, but have gone 3-3 over their last six contests. They most recently dropped a 6-0 decision to #3 Maryland on Wednesday.
Sunday’s game marks the end of a four-game road trip for Towson, which saw the Tigers play two neutral site contests. They defeated Appalachian State, 1-0, in overtime at Drexel, before bowing out to Bucknell, 3-2, in overtime at Maryland.
Their CAA wins came against VCU and William & Mary as the Tigers are on the verge of making the CAA playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
Against Bucknell, Janine Kovach tallied both marks to lead the Tigers in the comeback effort. Trailing 1-0, Kovach notched her first goal of the game in the 60th minute off a scramble in front. Again trailing, Kovach collected the ball off a rebound and punched it home for her third goal of the season.
Katie DiFilippo lead the team with 15 point on five goals and five assists. Kim Schnell also leads the team with five goals, as she has added three assists for the only other Tiger in double-digit points with 13.
Christina Siwiec has seen all but 15 minutes in goal for the Tigers, making 87 saves on the season. She has a 2.20 goals against average, giving up 35 goals on the year.
Sunday will be the 35th meeting between the two programs dating back to 1972. Delaware leads the all-time series 28-5-1, aided by a 24-0-1 run from 1973-2001. Towson won last year’s contest, 3-2, in overtime.