Delaware Ranked No. 18 in Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Ranked No. 18 in Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Field Hockey Poll

CHANDLER, Ariz. – The University of Delaware field hockey squad will open the 2014 campaign ranked No. 18 as the Blue Hens garnered 194 points in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll.

Four of Delaware's 2014 opponents are also featured in the preseason poll. The Blue Hens open the season Friday at No. 12 Stanford and follow with contests at home against No. 2 North Carolina (Sept. 7) and on the road at No. 9 Old Dominion (Sept. 21) and No. 7 Princeton (Oct. 10). UD also played a tightly contested match against No. 8 Penn State in a preseason exhibition this past weekend.

Maryland earned 881 points and 22 first place votes to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll.

Delaware, which captured its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association regular season and tournament title en route to one of the most successful seasons in program history in 2013, was slated to finish first in the 2014 CAA Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Blue Hens won a program-best 17 games last fall, including a victory over Liberty in a NCAA Tournament play-in contest.  Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof and his coaching staff earned NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year and CAA Co-Coach of the Year honors in 2013 while sophomore Esmée Peet (Zeewolde, The Netherlands/RSG Slingerbos) became just the third player in league history to collect both CAA Player and Rookie of the Year accolades.  UD completed the 2013 season ranked No. 14 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Poll.

The last time Delaware was featured in the preseason poll came in 2010 when UD received votes in the rankings.

In addition to the season opener at the Cardinal Friday, the Blue Hens will face Pacific (Aug. 30) and Cal (Sept. 1) on Stanford's campus. Delaware's home opener is slated for Friday, Sept 5 as the Hens host Richmond for a 7 p.m. contest at Rullo Stadium.

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