Delaware's women's field hockey team won the NCAA championship Sunday, capping off a Cinderella postseason run full of upsets of national powerhouses.
The Blue Hens beat North Carolina, 3-2, in the title game in Norfolk, Va.
After edging Louisville 1-0 in the first round, Delaware shocked No. 1 overall seed Duke, 3-2, on the Blue Devils' home field in the second round. The Blue Hens then ousted Princeton by the same score in the semifinals.
The Tar Heels entered the final carrying six national championships and 17 appearances in the title game. But Delaware got on the scoreboard first, with a goal from Germany-born sophomore midfielder Greta Nauck in the 10th minute of play. Senior forward Meghan Winsett doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark.
North Carolina rallied in the second half to tie the game at 2-2. Senior midfielder Lauren Moyer, a York native, scored in the 38th minute; and freshman forward Megan DuVernois, a Collegeville native and product of Gwynedd Mercy Academy, got the equalizer in the 63rd.
But barely 90 seconds after losing the lead, Delaware got it back, as Nauck scored what proved to be the championship-winning goal. She was set up by junior forward Taylor Lister, a native of Hummelstown, Pa., near Hershey.
The national title was Delaware's first in any sport since the Blue Hens' football team won it all in 2003, and the first women's title since the lacrosse team capped off a three-peat in 1983.
Delaware's field hockey program has a strong history, but from some time ago. The program reached the Final Four five times from 1976 through 1982. All but the last of those seasons were in in the old Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. The NCAA took over administration of women's college sports in 1982.
North Carolina, meanwhile, has now lost in its last five appearances in the championship game. The Tar Heels last won the title in 2009.