The field is set for the 2016 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship, as the University of Delaware, Princeton University, the University of Connecticut and the University of North Carolina will converge on the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk this weekend to battle for the national championship.
UNC and UConn will take the field Friday at 2 p.m, while Delaware and Princeton will square off later that afternoon at 4:45 p.m. The winners of Friday’s semifinals will play Sunday at 1 p.m. for the national title.
During a weekend replete with upsets, Delaware, the only one of the four semifinalists not making a return trip to Norfolk from 2012 or 2013, the last time Old Dominion hosted, knocked off top-seeded Duke, 3-2 in overtime, Son Nov. 13. Earning their first berth to the NCAA semis since 1982, the Blue Hens are 21-2 on the season and are currently riding a 17-game winning streak. Their last loss came to Princeton, their semifinal opponent, 4-2 on Sept. 11.
Princeton, which began its quest for the national title by taking down fourth-seeded Pennsylvania State University in the opening round, punched its ticket to Norfolk with a 3-2 victory over the University of Virginia Sunday, avenging an early season loss to the Cavaliers. The Tigers, who won their last NCAA championship in Norfolk in 2012, are 12-7 on the year.
Emerging from the other side of the bracket, North Carolina returns to Norfolk after finishing as the NCAA runner-up in 2012 and reaching the semifinals in 2013. Boasting a 20-4 record, the Tar Heels have been dominant through two rounds of the NCAA Championship, posting back-to-back 3-0 shutouts over Stanford and second-seeded Maryland. UNC is also the reigning NCAA second-place finisher from 2015.
UConn, which also won its last NCAA championship in Norfolk in 2013, enters Friday’s semifinals after blanking Boston College, 5-0, in the opening round and topping third-seeded Syracuse, 3-2, in the quarterfinals on Nov. 13. The Huskies are 22-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming to Maryland on Oct. 23. UConn and UNC have not met this season.
Tickets for this weekend’s games can be purchased here, as all tournament books are $35 for adults and $15 for youth 17 and under, while individual game tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under. Groups of 10 or more are $10 as well.
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