Trio of Goal Scorers Help Delaware Capture First Victory of the Season in 3-1 Win Over Saint Joseph’s
September 5, 2012
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware field hockey squad put a mark in the win column for the first time Wednesday night as the Blue Hens dominated the second half on the way to a 3-1 non-league victory over Saint Joseph’s at Rullo Stadium.
The Blue Hens (1-4), whose 0-4 start included three losses to Top 20 opponents, got goals from three different players in the second half on the way to the victory as freshman Michaela Patzner, junior Toni Popinko, and senior Nikki Onorato (at right) each scored and junior Kasey Prettyman and redshirt freshman Morgan Hudson each dished out an assist.
Delaware goalkeeper Sarah Scher led the defensive effort as she registered four saves and was less than a minute away from posting her first career shutout before the Hawks scored with just 15 seconds left to play.
“I thought our second half tonight was a great half,” said Delaware second-year head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. “We have worked really hard the last four weeks and we were close in a few games. But it was great to learn from those moments and put everything together tonight.”
Delaware, which downed the Hawks for the fourth straight time, outshot Saint Joseph’s 5-0 and held a 2-0 advantage in penalty corners in the first half but neither team could manage to put a shot into the cage.
Patzner ended that scoring drought early in the second half as she scored her team-high fourth goal of the season just under eight minutes into the second half on a shot from 16 yards out.
The Hens upped the lead to 2-0 just 11 minutes later as Popinko (at left) scored her first goal of the season as she took a crossing pass from Prettyman and tipped a shot past SJU goalkeeper Kate Mitchell (seven saves) for what proved to be the game-winner.
Delaware then made it 3-0 with 9:41 left to play when Onorato scored her second goal of the season on a tip-in right in front of the cage after a crossing pass from Morgan Hudson.
“It feels great winning,” said Onorato. “Our defense was very strong today and we deserved this win.”
The Blue Hens will get right back into action Friday afternoon and will face a stern test as they take on No. 1 ranked North Carolina at 4 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. The Tar Heels, last year’s NCAA national runner-up, will be visiting Rullo Stadium for the second straight year.
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