UD field hockey team falls to Tribe, misses tourney

NEWARK — Delaware’s dream of a sixth straight Colonial Athletic Association field hockey title ended in overtime on Sunday afternoon.

Estelle Hughes’ goal in the 74th minute gave third-seeded William & Mary a 3-2 victory over the top-seeded Blue Hens and gave the Tribe their first conference title.

Delaware (13-7), which was ranked No. 14 nationally, did not earn an at-large berth when the NCAA Division I tournament when the 18-team field was announced on Sunday evening.

The Hens had won 25 straight CAA regular season and tournament contests.

“You have to be consistent in order to compete for a win, regardless of if there’s a championship on the line or not,” said Delaware coach Rolf van de Kerkhof.

“I have to give credit to William & Mary as they played a phenomenal game against us. They were out to get us. We had a few moments where we responded well to that, but there were also a few moments that we didn’t and they capitalized on that to change the course of the game.”

The game started as a defensive battle, with only four shots coming between the two teams in the first half.

Blue Hen sophomore Femke Strien broke the tie in the 33rd minute after tipping in a shot from freshman Laurien Vink to send Delaware into halftime with the 1-0 lead.

The Tribe (11-7) came out in the second half and took a 2-1 advantage before UD senior Greta Nauck tallied her 198th career point with a penalty corner goal in the 63rd minute.

Nauck finished her career with a program-record 198 career points on 82 goals and 34 assists, a mark good for sixth in the CAA record books and ties for 26th in NCAA history. Her 82 goals are also tied for fourth all-time in the CAA and 24th in NCAA history.

Delaware’s senior class of Kiki Bink, MaryCate Butler, Lisa Giezeman, Nauck, Sydney Rhodes and Michaela Scanlon finished with 67 victories in their careers, including winning the 2016 national title.

Nauck, Rhodes and Strien were named to the CAA All-Tournament Team.

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