Delaware’s fall sports open seasons with mixed results

Greta_Nauck_IMG_9617_16x9
University of Delaware Athletics
Senior Greta Nauck scored one of two goals for the No. 13 Blue Hens on Sunday against No. 5 Cornell.

BY
Senior Reporter

The first few weeks of the fall semester don’t just once again introduce classes, books and studying — they also bring back Delaware athletics. From Head Coach Danny Rocco’s Fightin’ Blue Hens football team to the 2016 field hockey national champions, here’s a look at all things Blue Hen athletics.

Football

Starting the season off with a promising 2-1 record following Saturday night’s 27-10 victory against Cornell, Delaware football and Head Coach Danny Rocco will look to sustain their early-season momentum throughout the year. Rebounding strong after losing to Rhode Island in their season-opener, the squad bounced back with a combined total of 57 points the following two weeks, including 37 in a shutout win against Lafayette.

Two weeks, two wins. Danny Rocco and his team will attempt to continue their hot streak at North Dakota State next Saturday.

Volleyball

Entering her second year as Delaware’s head volleyball coach, Sara Matthews looks to improve following a 5-21 debut season that saw various personnel changes, youth and collective inconsistency.

In her sophomore season as coach, the team finds themselves off to a favorable 6-6 record, already surpassing their 2017 win total in just 12 games under Matthews’ helm.

Men’s Soccer

Similar to field hockey Head Coach Rolf van de Kerkhof and his team, head coach Ian Hennessy and the Hens began their 2018 season campaign with one of the strongest rating percentage indices in the nation. Competing with schools in major athletic programs such as the ACC, PAC-12, Big East, MAC and Ivy League conferences will prove to be challenging yet beneficial.

Applying experience from tough competition and employing it in a “very strong CAA,” coach Hennessy and his Blue Hens will look to post their fourth CAA championship appearance in five years. Following a rocky 1-5 start to kick of the year, the team will need to heed their early season downfalls if they wish to compete for the CAA title and, conceivably, a berth in the national tournament.

Field Hockey

The Blue Hen field hockey team is no stranger to hot streaks. Finishing ninth in national rankings to conclude last season only means increased expectations this year for head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof.

“Our players group is always up for a challenge,” van de Kerkhof told assistant athletic communications director Maggie Hayon. “We look back on the strong growth of their understanding, abilities and preparation this past spring, which will allow them to be confident facing a very competitive 2018 game schedule.”

The eight-year head coach will certainly need to keep the same focus as his team holds the 11th nationally ranked strength of schedule this year, according to fieldhockeycorner.com.

Currently 4-4 and with six returning starters from last season, Delaware will look to compete for their sixth consecutive conference title and a chance to make a run in the national tournament.

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