Delaware field hockey named DSBA Team of the Year

NEWARK — The list of honors for the national champions continues to grow as the University of Delaware field hockey team was named Wednesday as the state of Delaware’s 2016 Team of the Year by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association.

UD, which won the first NCAA Field Hockey Championship in program history in November, will be honored at the DSBA awards luncheon on Feb. 20 at the Sheraton Wilmington South.

“On behalf of the University of Delaware field hockey program, I would like to thank the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association for voting us Delaware’s 2016 Team of the Year,” remarked head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof, who was named earlier this month as the NFHCA National Coach of the Year. “It is an honor for our team and university to receive this recognition. I know there are other deserving youth squads as well as college, club and professional teams that could have been voted the Team of the Year, so to receive this honor makes it even more special.”

The Blue Hens finished the year with a 19-game winning streak and an overall record of 23-2. Delaware ranked in the top four nationally in winning percentage, scoring average, goals per game, points per game, scoring margin and assists per game.

Delaware field hockey coach Rolf van de Kerkhof congratulates sophomore Greta Nauck after her goal in OT gave the Blue Hens a 3-2 win at Duke in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

“This past year was an amazing one for the Blue Hens,” commented Van de Kerkhof, who holds a career mark of 86-45 (.656) in six seasons at Delaware. “The lessons learned and experiences gained will not only provide memories for life, but also direction and purpose moving forward as student-athletes, coaches and people. There are so many 2016 team moments that we can celebrate – the best two academic semesters (3.50 and 3.43 team GPA for spring and fall), senior graduation, building a new team and identity, winning our fourth straight CAA title and of course becoming National Champions. Once you add all that up, you realize the magnitude of the positive impact that this program had on its Blue Hens family, student-athletes, coaches, athletics department, university, fan base and the state of Delaware.”

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