NEWARK, Del. – UD kicks off its 2016 journey this weekend as the No. 14 Blue Hens host Delaware Hall of Famer and All-American Anne Wilkinson ’86 and her Ohio State Buckeyes for a Saturday/Sunday doubleheader at Fred P. Rullo Stadium.

Delaware (0-0, 0-0 CAA) vs. Ohio State (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
📅 DATE:  Saturday, August 27, 2016
🕖 TIME:  Noon Eastern
📍 LOCATION:  Fred P. Rullo Stadium – Newark, Del.
🖥 ONLINE:  🎥 n/a  | 📊 Live Stats  Facebook    Twitter

Delaware (0-0, 0-0 CAA) vs. Ohio State (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

📅 DATE:  Sunday, August 28, 2016
🕖 TIME:  Noon Eastern
📍 LOCATION:  Fred P. Rullo Stadium – Newark, Del.
🖥 ONLINE:  🎥 n/a | 📊 Live Stats |  Facebook    Twitter

     ·  Delaware finished the 2015 campaign with an overall mark of 16-6, which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament and their third straight CAA title.
      · The Hens are 34-9-2 all-time in season lid-lifters.  Delaware has not opened its season at home since 2012.
      · The Blue Hens garnered four first place votes and 34 total points to lead all teams in the league’s preseason poll.
      · UD received 297 votes for a No. 14 standing in the Penn Monto/NFHCA preseason poll. The Hens had previously never been slotted higher than No. 18 (2013) in the preseason standings.
      · In total, 13 of UD’s 18 regular season opponents picked up votes in the preseason rankings.
      · Delaware returns nine starters and 14 letter winners from a season ago while welcoming seven newcomers to the roster.
      · The Hens feature a total of six international players on the roster.
      · Senior Esmée Peet was tabbed the CAA Preseason Player of the Year while junior Emmeline Oltmans and sophomores Lisa Giezeman and Greta Nauck were tabbed All CAA-Preseason honorees.
      · Esmée Peet joins classmates Meghan Winesett and Maura Zarkoski as team captains this season.
      · Esmée Peet is currently tied for ninth in program history with 95 points (39g, 17a). Her 39 goals are also good to tie for eighth all-time.
      · Meghan Winesett is tied for 17th all-time with 69 points (26g, 17a).
      · Emmeline Oltmans ranks sixth for the Hens with a 2.12 GAA and 14th overall with 140 career saves.

     · Since the first-ever meeting in 1981, Delaware and Ohio State are knotted up at 2-2 in the all-time series.
     · The Buckeyes are 2-0 in Newark while the Hens grabbed one win in Columbus, Ohio and the other on a neutral site at UConn.
     · In the last matchup, OSU pulled out the 2-1 overtime victory over UD on Sept. 6, 2008 in the Blue Hens Classic.
     · Delaware’s last win came on Aug. 25, 2007 with a 4-0 triumph against the No. 13 Buckeyes at the Ohio State Buckeye Classic.

     · Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof (Fonty’s Hogeschool ’96) returns for his sixth season at the helm of the Blue Hens and holds an all-time record of 63-43 (.594) at Delaware.
     · Assistant coach Missy Arenz (Delaware ’12, Longwood ‘13) is in her third season roaming the UD sidelines while Jordan McKee (Queens ’09, Ulster ’14) is in his first season as a full-time assistant coach for the Hens after serving two-plus seasons as a volunteer.  Jacki Coveleski (Delaware ’16) joins the coaching staff this season as a volunteer assistant coach.
     · Anne Wilkinson (Delaware ’86) is entering her 21st season as the head coach of the Scarlet and Gray. A 2000 inductee into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame, Wilkinson was a dual-sport athlete for the field hockey and lacrosse teams and helped guide Delaware lacrosse to the 1983 national championship.  Her name is still littered amongst the UD record books. A two-time NFHCA West Region Coach of the Year, she is just one of 15 coaches in NCAA history with 300 or more career wins.

The Buckeyes received 12 votes in the Penn Monto/NFHCA preseason poll after concluding 2015 with an overall mark of 9-10 while going 4-4 in Big Ten play.  OSU had a trio earn Big Ten preseason honors in juniors Maddy Humphrey, Liz Tamburro and Carolina Vergroesen.  Humphrey has established herself as one of the most consistent scoring threats in the Big Ten with 56 career goals in 33 games. Last season, she tallied 24 points (10g, 4a) on her way to All-Big Ten accolades.  Defensively, Vergroesen started all 19 games last year and was a Big Ten All-Tournament selection.  Tamburro was the league leader in total saves (134) and saves per game (7.1) last fall while registering four double-figure save performances.  In total, the Buckeyes return eight starters and 16 letter winners from a team that has increased its win total by three games from 2014 to 2015.