NORFOLK, Va. - National Champions!
That title belongs to the University of Delaware field hockey team after the No. 8 Blue Hens capped their magical postseason run and history-making campaign with a 3-2 win over No. 4 North Carolina to capture their first-ever NCAA field hockey title.As she has done all season, Blue Hen sophomore Greta Nauck was the difference-maker as she scored her second goal of the day with just under six minutes remaining to break the tie and send Delaware to the victory at Old Dominion's L.R. Hill Complex.
The Blue Hens (23-2), who advanced to the title game with a 3-2 win over No. 14 Princeton Friday night, become the first Delaware team to capture a national title since the UD football team won the NCAA FCS crown in 2003.
They also become the first UD women's team to claim a national title since the women's lacrosse squad won its third straight national title in 1983.
Delaware, which won its fourth straight Colonial Athletic Association title this season, capped an incredible season that saw the Hens win their final 19 games since mid-September. Delaware outscored its opponents by an incredible 100-39 margin over the course of the season.
The Hens jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Tar Heels (20-6) as Nauck scored just 9:32 into the game and Meghan Winesett tallied with 5:11 left in the stanza.
But North Carolina struck early in the second half, pulling to within 2-1 on a goal by Lauren Moyer just 2:50 in to the period. UNC then tied it up when Megan DuVernois tallied with 7:24 left to play.
Then Nauck did her thing once again as she took a long pass from the right side from Taylor Lister and tipped in a shot past UNC goalkeeper Shannon Johnson with 5:56 left to play. The goal was Nauck's school-record 33rd of the season.
Delaware then played out the clock and a wild celebration at midfield ensued.