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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.

Junior Evie Bird managed the Big Green’s lone goal, finishing the game’s scoring in the 68th minute on a corner play with Katie Spanos picking up the only credited assist.

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.