Delaware field hockey team wins fourth straight CAA title


The University of Delaware field hockey team celebrates its CAA championship after its victory over James Madison Sunday in Newark. (University of Delaware photo/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — Delaware’s dominance of the CAA continued Sunday afternoon.

Backed by two goals each from tournament Most Outstanding Player Greta Nauck and senior Meghan Winesett, the Blue Hens captured their fourth straight Colonial Athletic Association field hockey tournament title with a 4-1 victory over James Madison at Rullo Stadium.

The top seed and No. 9-ranked Hens (19-2) extended their winning streak to 15 straight games as they knocked off the third-seeded and No. 20 Dukes (13-7) in the league title game for the third straight season.

“This year we were the strongest in the four years that we’ve been fortunate to compete in and win the CAA Tournament,” said Delaware coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. “We’re rock solid.

“This group is so mature and driven. My hat’s off to them for the way they’ve prepared and competed all season long. They really drive themselves and ultimately that’s what you want in a player’s group. They want it and they’ll go out and do it.”

Sunday evening, the Hens found out they’ll be playing Louisville (15-5) in the first round of the 18-team NCAA Division I Tournament. The contest will be played at Duke on Saturday at 2 p.m. with the winner likely to face the top-seeded Blue Devils in the second round.

While Delaware is ranked ninth nationally, Louisville is No. 8 in the country. It will be the Hens’ seventh appearance in the NCAAs.

The field hockey team is the first Delaware squad to win four straight conference tournament titles since the baseball

Delaware's Greata Nauck was named the CAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Delaware’s Greata Nauck was named the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

program did so from 1998 to 2001.

Nauck, who scored three goals in the Hens’ 6-1 semifinal win over Drexel Friday night, added two more Sunday to increase her school-record total to 29 this season. She was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Winesett and juniors Taylor Lister and Emmeline Oltmans.

Nauck got things started with a goal off a penalty corner just 7:45 into the game, taking feeds from seniors Esmée Peet and Maura Zarkoski to complete the play. Just three minutes later, Winesett scored off a rebound from 10 yards out to up the lead to 2-0.

James Madison cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Florien Sondern 14 minutes into the second half, but the Hens quickly ended the comeback threat as Nauck scored her second goal of the game from just inside the circle off a feed from classmate Kiki Bink just over three minutes later.

Winesett provided the insurance with her second goal of the game and eighth of the season on a tap-in after passes from senior Kayla Devlin and Lister with 50 seconds remaining.

Delaware outshot the Dukes 17-2 and held a commanding 8-1 advantage in penalty corners.

College volleyball

Delaware 3, Hofstra 1: The Blue Hens closed their home season with an emphatic four-set (25-22, 19-25, 25-16, 25-16) victory on Senior Day as the Blue Hens secured a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

Delaware (7-7 CAA, 13-14 overall) won for the seventh time in its last eight matches including five straight. Hofstra is 9-6, 19-9.

Blue Hen freshman Maria Bellinger led the way with 18 kills, while Alexa Swann added nine kills to go with a career-high 11 blocks. Lauren Talley contributed eight kills, while Erin Layne handed out 43 assists and Kori Rasmussen made a team-leading 14 digs.

Five Delaware players reached double figure digs, including Autumn Jenkins and Taylor Hollingsworth with 12 each. Layne, who added 11, and Bellinger, who chipped in with 10, each posted their fifth double-doubles of the season.

UMES 3, Delaware State 0: The Hornets wrapped up their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule with 25-16, 25-17, 25-18 loss.

Danyelle Tucker topped all Delaware State players with six kills. DSU’s Jenessa Helu was next on the team with five. Aaliyah McBean led the Hornets with a match-high nine digs.

Delaware State recorded 24 kills and 17 errors on 74 attacks for a .095 hitting percentage.

Delaware State will close its season at home with a nonconference match against NJIT on Tuesday. The Hornets will honor seniors Ariana Stevens, Jenessa Helu and Jae Jackson prior to the 7 p.m. match.

College football

Wesley ranked No. 20: The Wesley College football team jumped back into the rankings at No. 20 on Sunday.

The Wolverines (7-2), who dropped out of the poll after starting the season at 1-2, knocked off No. 18 Salisbury, 44-27, on Saturday. Wesley is one of only two, two-loss teams in the Top 25.

The Wolverines can earn the program’s 12th-straight NCAA Division III playoff berth with a win over William Patterson on Saturday.

Wesley’s Falkenberg honored: Nick Falkenberg was named New Jersey Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after leading Wesley College to a 44-27 win over Salisbury on Saturday.

Falkenberg is the second Wolverine to earn the award. He completed 16-of-26 passes for a career-high 311 yards and four passing touchdowns while also running for a TD.

His performance marked just the third time this season that an NJAC quarterback has thrown for four touchdowns in a game. Falkenberg ranks fourth in the NJAC in pass efficiency (135.5).

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