The University of Delaware field hockey team celebrated its NCAA championship this week with a visit to Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence in Washington, D.C.
The University of Delaware has had a few standout stars in recent years: Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco and WNBA All-Star Elena Delle-Donne are among them. But it was a team effort that landed the university’s field hockey team at Vice President Joe Biden’s home in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The UD team won 19 games in a row on their way to the NCAA championship win over North Carolina, outscoring their opponents 100-39 for the season.
The team capped off their championship season at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
“I’m really so, so proud of you,” Biden told the team. For more than two hours, the team met with Biden, first in his foyer, then eventually moving to a nearby sitting room.
“If you told me this six months ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” said Megan Winesett, a senior forward. “It’s one of those things you kind of dream about, but it’s pretty unreal to be here.”
Head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof and many other players had a tough time explaining exactly how it felt. “It’s just wow. It’s hard to describe in words. It’s an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your lives, it shows how special this group has been.”
Biden urged the team to ask him anything they wanted, which included questions about his popularity in internet memes. “I’m amazed. I go online and I see there’s like 90 different pictures of me eating ice cream,” Biden said. “Some of them are funny, most of them are humorous, and if you can’t, in my business, learn to laugh at yourself, you shouldn’t be in this business.”
Other questions were a bit more serious. Winesett asked what Biden’s plans were for the new year. “Hopefully I’m going to go and be on campus with you guys for a while,” Biden answered. “My heart and my loyalty are with my alma mater, the University of Delaware.”
UD President Dennis Assanis said he’s excited for what Biden can bring to the university. “The Vice President’s heart belongs to the University of Delaware and to the state of Delaware, emotionally there’s that connection, and we’re working very hard to make that emotional connection a real connection,” Assanis said. “We obviously like to involve him within the university as much as his time allows.”
For midfielder Maggie Delp, the only native Delawarean on the team, celebrating at the vice president’s residence was a night to remember. “I never thought to think that we would win a national championship, like that’s so crazy, and now we’re at the vice president’s house and it’s just kind of, kind of all hitting us at once, but it’s really exciting.”
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