The Connecticut Huskies won the very first NCAA Division I field hockey championship, defeating Massachusetts 4-1 in 1981. The Huskies quickly became a power in those early years, and 39 years later have five national championships to their name.
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In those 39 years of DII field hockey, five programs have won multiple national championships. Just six — Iowa (1986), James Madison (1994), Michigan (2001), Princeton (2012), Syracuse (2015), and Delaware (2016) — are one-time winners.
Let’s take a look at which college field hockey programs have the most national titles.
9 — Old Dominion (1982-84, 1988, 1990-92, 1998, 2000)
Only three teams in the history of college field hockey have strung together three-straight national championships, and Old Dominion lays claim to two of them, first from 1982 to 1984 and then again from 1990 to 1992. Those titles have been harder to come by since the calendar flipped to the new century, but the Monarchs still set the bar in the history of the sport.
8 (tie) — North Carolina (1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, 2009, 2018, 2019)
The Tar Heels — who have strung together consecutive undefeated seasons — are the reigning two-time champions heading into the 40th season of college field hockey. Like Maryland, North Carolina has had plenty of chances to increase its total, finishing as national runner-up an unprecedented 11 times. While the Maryland rivalry is more recent, the Tar Heels had some memorable bouts with Old Dominion back in the day, facing the Monarchs five times, winning twice.
8 (tie) — Maryland (1987, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010-11)
Maryland has finished as the national runner-up the past two seasons, and five times overall, so this number could be even higher. In 2018, the Terrapins were shutout by North Carolina, 2-0. Now, if you think the Duke-North Carolina rivalry has been going on for a long time, take a look at the history between Maryland and North Carolina in the college field hockey championship game. These two powerhouses have met seven times, with four of the championships being decided in overtime play. Despite the most recent loss, Maryland still holds the all-time lead, 4-3, but we’d expect there to be plenty more to come.
|The complete history of the UNC/Maryland rivalry in the championship game|
5 — UConn (1981,1985, 2013-14, 2017)
The Huskies were the first college field hockey power in the history of the sport. They were in the championship game in four of the first five years, losing consecutive title matches to Old Dominion in 1982 and 1983 before coming out on top again in 1985. UConn would have to wait nearly 30 years for its next title in 2013, those 28 years are still the longest span a program has had to wait between national championships.
3 — Wake Forest (2002-04)
The Demon Deacons only have three national titles, but head coach Jennifer Averill sure made them count, piling them up one on top of the other. Wake Forest reached the championship game two more times after its monster run but lost both times (2006 and 2008) to Maryland.
Coaches with the most college field hockey championships
The coaches of the Big Three in the history for college field hockey were certainly there for the long haul. Beth Anders of Old Dominion is the all-time leader in championship wins, there for all nine of the Monarchs' titles. UNC's Karen Shelton has all eight of the Tar Heels titles as head coach, winning her first in 1989 and still rolling three decades later. Missy Meharg has led Maryland to seven of its eight titles with Sue Tyler winning the Terps' first national championship before handing over the reins.
Here is the complete history of the college field hockey championship game:
|2019||North Carolina (23-0)||Karen Shelton||6-1||Princeton||Wake Forest|
|2018||North Carolina (23-0)||Karen Shelton||2-0||Maryland||Louisville|
|2017||Connecticut (23-0)||Nancy Stevens||2-1||Maryland||Louisville|
|2016||Delaware (23-2)||Rolf van de Kerkhof||3-2||North Carolina||Old Dominion|
|2015||Syracuse (21-1)||Ange Bradley||4-2||North Carolina||Michigan|
|2014||Connecticut (20-3)||Nancy Stevens||1-0||Syracuse||Maryland|
|2013||Connecticut (21-4)||Nancy Stevens||2-0||Duke||Old Dominion|
|2012||Princeton (20-1)||Kristen Holmes-Winn||3-2||North Carolina||Old Dominion|
|2011||Maryland (19-4)||Missy Meharg||3-2 (ot)||North Carolina||Louisville|
|2010||Maryland (23-1)||Missy Meharg||3-2 (2 ot)||North Carolina||Maryland|
|2009||North Carolina (20-2)||Karen Shelton||3-2||Maryland||Wake Forest|
|2008||Maryland (22-2)||Missy Meharg||4-2||Wake Forest||Louisville|
|2007||North Carolina (24-0)||Karen Shelton||3-0||Penn State||Maryland|
|2006||Maryland (23-2)||Missy Meharg||1-0||Wake Forest||Wake Forest|
|2005||Maryland (23-2)||Missy Meharg||1-0||Duke||Louisville|
|2004||Wake Forest (20-3)||Jennifer Averill||3-0||Duke||Wake Forest|
|2003||Wake Forest (22-1)||Jennifer Averill||3-1||Duke||Massachusetts|
|2002||Wake Forest (20-2)||Jennifer Averill||2-0||Penn State||Louisville|
|2001||Michigan (18-5)||Marcia Pankratz||2-0||Maryland||Kent State|
|2000||Old Dominion (25-1)||Beth Anders||3-1||North Carolina||Old Dominion|
|1999||Maryland (24-1)||Missy Meharg||2-1||Michigan||Northeastern|
|1998||Old Dominion (23-2)||Beth Anders||3-2||Princeton||Penn|
|1997||North Carolina (20-3)||Karen Shelton||3-2||Old Dominion||Connecticut|
|1996||North Carolina (23-1)||Karen Shelton||3-0||Princeton||Boston College|
|1995||North Carolina (24-0)||Karen Shelton||5-1||Maryland||Wake Forest|
|1994||James Madison (20-3-1)||Christy Morgan||2-1 (2 ot)*||North Carolina||Northeastern|
|1993||Maryland (21-3)||Missy Meharg||2-1 (2 ot)*||North Carolina||Rutgers|
|1992||Old Dominion (25-0)||Beth Anders||4-0||Iowa||VCU|
|1991||Old Dominion (26-0)||Beth Anders||2-0||North Carolina||Villanova|
|1990||Old Dominion (23-2-1)||Beth Anders||5-0||North Carolina||Rutgers|
|1989||North Carolina (20-2)||Karen Shelton||2-1 (3 ot)*||Old Dominion||Springfield|
|1988||Old Dominion (26-1)||Beth Anders||2-1||Iowa||Penn|
|1987||Maryland (18-4-1)||Sue Tyler||2-1 (ot)||North Carolina||North Carolina|
|1986||Iowa (19-2-1)||Judith Davidson||2-1 (2 ot)||New Hampshire||Old Dominion|
|1985||Connecticut (19-2)||Diane Wright||3-2||Old Dominion||Old Dominion|
|1984||Old Dominion (23-0)||Beth Anders||5-1||Iowa||Springfield|
|1983||Old Dominion (23-0)||Beth Anders||3-1 (3 ot)||Connecticut||Penn|
|1982||Old Dominion (20-1)||Beth Anders||3-2||Connecticut||Temple|
|1981||Connecticut (15-2-3)||Diane Wright||4-1||Massachusetts||Connecticut|