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ODU Field Hockey Team Outshoots Delaware, but Succumbs to the Blue Hens, 4-2, in Opener


Aubrey Mytych sprints toward the Delaware goal

By Harry Minium
NORFOLK, Va. – Field hockey can be a maddening game. There are times when you outhustle, outshoot and outplay your opponent and yet you end up on the short end of the scoreboard.
Such was the case for Old Dominion Sunday afternoon when the No. 18 Monarchs fell to Delaware, 4-2, at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex. It was the season opener for the Monarchs, who are the defending Big East regular-season champions.
ODU outshot Delaware, 18-9, and had 10 corners to one for the Blue Hens (1-1). But ODU could not find the goal often enough. One early goal was disallowed, and two other shots hit the goalpost.
Meanwhile, the Monarchs found themselves so focused on scoring that they were outnumbered a couple of times on the back end when Delaware scored two of its goals.
"It's weird feeling kind of encouraged after a loss," head coach Andrew Griffiths said. "But given how we played, I can see a high ceiling for this team."
Griffiths said his team must improve on corners  He said a good team scores 30 percent of the time on corners.
"You should be getting a quality shot at a minimum on a corner," he said. "We hit several high. We had some blocked. We didn't get many quality shots, and if you're not getting quality shots, you're not doing your job."
Meanwhile, he said, his players weren't patient enough while breaking toward the Delaware goal.
"In the first half we had three on ones and three on twos and we were not making the extra pass, to use basketball equivalency, for a layup," he said. "We were taking three pointers instead."

<a href=Andrew Griffiths" height="433" src="" width="650" />
Head coach Andrew Griffiths greets a youth hockey player before Sunday's game.  

ODU outshot Delaware, 9-1, in the first 29 minutes, but with a minute left in the first half, got a green card that left the Monarchs a player short. Then, with 30.8 seconds left, on a corner, Delaware's Genevieve Johnson smacked in a goal that bounced off the outstretched glove of goalkeeper Suus Broers, a freshman from Urtecht, Netherlands, making her college debut.
Morgan Bradford scored for Delaware early in the third quarter and Kiki Oudshoorn made it 3-0 at 47:04.
ODU then rallied quickly, with Marlon de Bruijne, the Monarch standout forward from Den Bosch, Netherlands, putting in a backhanded shot just 44 seconds later. Frederique Zandbergen, also from the Netherlands, got the assist.

ODU then trimmed the lead to 3-2 four minutes later when Sanci Molkenboer, a sophomore from the Netherlands, scored in similar fashion with an assist from Jolene Ulichney, a senior from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Molkenboer nearly tied it up with seven minutes left when a shot went off the pad of goalie Kylie Walbert. But then Oudshoorn all but put the game away when she moved around a defender and lofted Delaware's fourth goal into the box.
Although ODU returned many of the key players from last year's Big East regular-season champion, four newcomers started – Broers, Anna Miller (Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, transfer from St. Joseph's), Danielle Husar (Mississauga, Canada, transfer from Virginia) and Kerry McCormick (Haddonfield, New Jersey).
Griffths was particularly please with McCormick, a right back, who like Broers is a freshman.
"She played great," Griffiths said. "She played simple, but played great. 

de Bruijne
Marlon de Bruijne, Nicole Fredericks and Sacha de Gier mingle with youth field hockey players.  

"With four newcomers starting, that's quite a changeover from last year. Everyone's playing the system. Everyone is doing well.
"We are strong at every position and we have depth."

Griffiths strengthened his schedule in the offseason to try to bolster the team's RPI and make ODU's resume look stronger to the NCAA Tournament committee. On Friday, Sept. 1, the Monarchs travel to Central Michigan before taking on No. 4 Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 3. Michigan will play at ODU next season.
After hosting Queens of North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 8, the Monarchs host top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday, Sept. 10. The Tar Heels have won four of the last five NCAA titles.
"We've got some things to work on," he said. "But as a team, we're really, really working well together. I don't think there are a lot of major adjustments that need to be made.
"We're going to need to be at a very high level when we go to Michigan. And I think we will be."

Danielle Husar, a transfer from Virginia, steadies herself just before a corner.