Delaware athletes: Tower Hill grad helps Tar Heels remain on top

Caitlin Van Sickle is off to a strong start with the University of North Carolina field hockey team.

Van Sickle, a third-year sophomore from Wilmington and Tower Hill School, had three goals and two assists through the unbeaten, No. 1-ranked Tar Heels' first five games.


Two of those goals and one of the assists came the weekend of Sept. 10-12, which was somewhat of a homecoming for Van Sickle and many other Tar Heels.


They made their annual trip to nearby West Chester, Pa., for the Vonnie Gros Classic, named in honor of the former West Chester coach.


UNC topped Villanova 7-1 and the host Golden Rams by the same score.


"This weekend is always like a reunion of sorts,'' said UNC coach Karen Shelton, a West Chester native and former player under Gros. "I enjoy coming back to West Chester, and Pennsylvania is the stomping grounds for a lot of our players, so we have a lot of fans at the games and the families don't have to travel very far. And we're proud to participate in an event that honors Vonnie Gros, my college coach."


The trip also included a Sept. 13 visit to the White House, where UNC was honored by President Obama for its 2009 NCAA title.


Van Sickle started all 22 games for that team.


She's one of four Delaware high school graduates playing for North Carolina, led by senior team captain Katelyn Falgowski. The St. Mark's graduate from Landenberg, Pa., is a member of the U.S. National team and a 2008 Olympian. Falgowski hadn't played yet going into a pair of home games last weekend against Old Dominion and William & Mary because of a preseason concussion but was close to returning.


Red-shirt freshman forward Meghan Lyons of Wilmington and Tower Hill came off the bench to play in each of UNC's first five games.


True freshman Drew Hayes of Wilmington and Brandywine had not seen action. Hayes' mother, Claire, played hockey at UNC from 1983-86.

Reprinted with permission of The News Journal