DURHAM, N.C. - University of New Hampshire, America East's field hockey champion, is ready to battle fourth-seeded Duke in the first round of the NCAA Field Hockey Championship Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The winner of the matchup between the 16th and sixth-ranked teams in the nation, will advance to Sunday's second round.
UNH (15-6), which will be making their 10th NCAA appearance overall and second in three years, avoided one of three play-in games as they were deemed one of the top five automatic qualifying teams by the NCAA selection committee.
The Wildcats earned their NCAA berth by beating Albany, 3-2, in the America East title game on Nov. 9 to earn the league's automatic bid. Megan Bozek scored on a penalty stroke in that contest and earned Most Outstanding Player honors. The win was UNH's eighth in a row and 14th in its last 16 games.
Duke (14-6) is the eighth-ranked team in the nation, tied for third in the ACC regular-season standings, a league that sent all seven of its teams to the NCAA tournament.
America East has 11 all-time wins in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship, the last coming in 2007 when Boston U. beat Iowa, 1-0, in double overtime.