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Return to NCAA Tournament the aim for experienced Delaware team

Previewing the Delaware Blue Hens men’s soccer season

Record in 2015: 10-7-4 overall, 5-2-1 in Colonial Athletic Association
Head Coach: Ian Hennessy (11th season)
Key Losses: Joe DiPre, Ryan Talbot
Key Returners: Forwards Guillermo Delgado and Marco Siverio, midfielders Ben Sampson, Carlos Perales, Jaime Martinez and Robert Gillin, defenders Thibault Philippe, Thomas de Villardi and John Schroeder
Key Additions: Forward Faruk Mohammed, midfielder Fede Prieto
MLS Academy Players: John Schroeder (Philadelphia Union)
Key Matches: Lehigh away (Sept. 2), Villanova home (Sept. 11), Virginia Tech home (Sept. 20), Hofstra home (Oct. 1), Maryland away (Oct. 26)

Forward Guillermo Delgado has had quite a career at Delaware. Entering his senior year, the Spaniard needs 10 goals to tie the all-time career record for goals (47) set by Mike Biggs in 1970.

But beyond personal accolades, for which there have been plenty since he burst onto the national scene with 15 goals in his freshman season in 2013, Delgado and fellow veterans like Thomas de Villardi, Jaime Martinez, Ben Sampson and Marco Siverio will aim to lead the Blue Hens back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013.

Head coach Ian Hennessy’s squad has posted winning seasons in each of the last two years - totaling 23 wins over that span - but getting back to and winning the Colonial Athletic Association championship will be the true measure of success for a team as talented and experienced as they are.

While Delgado is the big name, fellow preseason all-conference picks de Villardi and Thibault Philippe will once again anchor a defense that also features Philadelphia Union Academy grad John Schroeder at right back. Delgado and Philippe will share captain duties with fifth-year senior Ben Sampson.

While the lineup will be full of experienced players, newcomers like local forward Faruk Mohammed and Spanish midfielder Fede Prieto will also look to establish themselves in the rotation. Prieto was a three-time team captain in the youth system of Atletico Madrid in Spain and is one of seven players on the team who hail from Spain.

The Blue Hens open their season in Lewisburg tonight against Bucknell and return home Sunday for their home opener at noon at Stuart & Suzanne Grant Stadium against Fordham.