A third through the fall season: The Review report card

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Courtesy of Delaware Athletics
The defending CAA champion men’s soccer team sits at 4-2-1 to start the 2017 season.

With the fall season well under way, The Review evaluates the football and field hockey teams in addition to the men’s soccer and volleyball programs.

Football

Delaware football has completed three games under Head Coach Danny Rocco, holding a current record of 2-1. Their single loss was to No. 13 Virginia Tech, while winning both games against Delaware State and Cornell. The Hens are coming off of an open date, gearing up for a home matchup this weekend against defending, and currently undefeated, FCS champions James Madison. The Dukes will be the Hens first conference game of the season. James Madison opened their conference slate with a 28-10 win against Maine this past weekend.

Quarterback Joe Walker has set career highs in passing in two of the team’s three games this season. Rocco continues to experiment with the running back core after losing talented back Wes Hills this summer due to academic ineligibility. The defense, under coordinator Chris Cosh, is ranked in the top three in all major conference defensive categories, but will be put to the test this weekend against offensive machine JMU.

Grade: B

Field Hockey

Delaware field hockey has a current record of 6-3 and will begin their conference schedule this week, facing Drexel on Friday. They will face non-conference opponent Lafayette on Sunday. Senior Taylor Lister and junior Greta Nauck have led the team offensively, while freshman Lotte de Koning has provided depth as the team rebounds after losing four talented seniors from last season.

The Blue Hens have lost more games this season than they lost all of last season, and they are 2-3 against ranked teams. The difficult schedule is representative of what a national champion typically faces –– Delaware has lost to No. 9 Louisville, No. 20 Albany and No. 1 UConn, while the team defeated No. 8 Princeton and No. 2 Penn State. The team dropped two games at home this weekend, marking the first time they have lost at home since October, 2015.

Grade: B

Men’s soccer

Led by Head Coach Ian Hennessy, the Delaware men’s soccer program premiered their CAA appearance on Sept. 17, falling to No. 22 UNCW 1-0 in overtime. Goalie Todd Morton recorded three saves in the contest. Hennessy’s squad picked up its first CAA win on Saturday, outlasting Northeastern 1-0. Sophomore Halvard Ramstad scored on a free kick in minute 56. Delaware sits at 4-2-1 (1-1 in CAA) and hosts Drexel on Wednesday.

The Blue Hens have been competitive in each game this season –– all games have been decided by two goals or less and both of Delaware’s losses this season have come in the overtime period. The defense has been very solid for the defending CAA champions, while they continue to search for offensive firepower after losing three of their top four goals scorers from a year ago (Guillermo Delgado, Jaime Martinez and Ben Sampson).

Grade: B +

Volleyball

The volleyball team, after starting the season 0-7, won two of three matches in the George Washington tournament on Sept. 15-16, beating UMBC and Holy Cross. The team started their conference play against William and Mary on Sept. 21 with a 3-2 win, making their overall record 3-9. The Blue Hens will have their first home games of the season this weekend, facing Northeastern and Hofstra.

Offensively, the team has been led by sophomore Maria Bellinger, who slammed 25 kills in their match against William and Mary. Freshman Maddie Judge leads the team in passing while junior Abby Skyrd continues to spearhead her offense, leading the team in assists. Delaware had a slow start to the season, but winning three of its last five games should give the team some momentum going into the rest of their conference play.

Grade: C+

~Review Sports Staff

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