NEWARK, Del. – The Dartmouth field hockey team began the 2017 season Friday night, falling at third-ranked and defending NCAA National Champion Delaware, 9-1.
The Blue Hens (2-1) came into the game on a one-game skid — their first loss in almost a year — but bounced back with their 15th straight home win at Rullo Field dating back to Oct. 18, 2015.
The home team got out to a fast start in the opening half after a pregame ceremony unveiling their 2016 championship banner. Delaware followed the festivities with six goals in the frame, including a trio of tallies in a three-minute span and a pair from Lotte de Koning. When the dust settled on the opening 35 minutes, the Big Green found themselves down 6-0.
The Blue Hens added another three in a span of 1:28 midway through the second half to cap their scoring. In all, de Koning posted a hat trick, while Greta Nauck scored twice. Four other Delaware players notched a goal each.
Big Green (0-1) Junior goalkeeper Hailey Valerio turned aside 13 shots in the game, her third-best single-game total in her collegiate career. At the other end, Delaware started Sydney Rhodes, who earned the win despite not making a save. Emmeline Oltmans played the second half and made one save and allowed the Bird goal.
Shots were 30-4 in favor of the Hens as were corners, 15-2.
Dartmouth remains in Newark and at Rullo Field with a neutral-site game against Longwood Sunday at 10:45 a.m.