Lady Hens earn first CAA win
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 21:10
On a gray, misty Sunday at Rullo Field, the Delaware field hockey team provided a bright spot as they claimed their first victory in CAA play, defeating Hofstra, 2-1.
The Hens had lost four consecutive games, with a 5-0 loss at home against No. 8 Northeastern Friday. Freshman goalie Mégane Simons, who won her first game of the season, said the team discussed a few basics they needed to work on, but they were confident they could defeat Hofstra.
“We’ve had a little trouble possessing and marking the ball,” Simons said. “I think we have problems also scoring the ball when we have opportunities, so now we were discussing how we were going to do this during the game because we knew Hofstra is a good team, but we knew we could beat them.”
Simons’ comment that Hofstra is a good team seemed to have been proven right, for they scored 15 minutes into the first half to take the early lead.
The Lady Hens did not let the Pride sit on their lead too long, though, as sophomore defender Kelsey McKee scored 16:34 in the first half to tie the game. McKee said the shot was supposed to be a pass, but the goalie was not able to clear it.
Delaware took the lead 24:48 in the first when they were awarded a penalty stroke, which McKee put away. McKee said she was not nervous about taking the penalty because she practices such shots often.
“No, on the [penalty] I wasn’t nervous,” she said. “With the strokes [in practice] it’s basically goalie in the cage, me with 25 or 50 balls and put them in a line and send them down. There’s certain games we play like I used to play a game called around the world and you’d have to get them in each corner [of the goal] so that’s a fun game.”
Delaware played a strong second half, holding off a couple chances by Hofstra and creating some of their own. The team’s tempo was consistent with four shots by Delaware in both halves.
Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof said earlier in the year that the team had to connect the two halves together. He said the game today is a good way of showing that the team is gaining the consistency needed to win.
“Today is a good example of how to connect,” he said. “We’ve improved our possession, and we’ve put ourselves in a position to win games, now we have to see if we can push the time we possess the ball up.”
The team played five of six games on the road and won one. Even with the losses, the trip proved to be a learning experience, van de Kerkof said. He went on to say that the long bus trips gave the team a good chance to bond and grow stronger.
For McKee, the 10-2 loss against Princeton proved to be a learning experience. The level of play by the Tigers, some of whom have played internationally, proved to be an eye-opener, she said.
“Princeton was really interesting,” she said. “They have a ton of girls on the national team, a couple of them went to the Olympics, so it’s really fun to learn from them, and you just see how fast they play [...] it’s really incredible to see that next level and where we’re trying to get as soon as we can.”
Delaware’s record is now 5-10 (1-3 CAA) with three games left before the CAA Championship. Even though the Hens only have one win in CAA play, van de Kerkhof said he’s confident the team can still win the championship.
“It’s why we play the game, every game is a championship game,” he said. “If you win them all on the road, then you win the championship. The CAA is postseason play, so if we’re undefeated in the postseason, then we’re champions.”