UConn field hockey will finish out their regular season this Saturday against Georgetown and look to put a bow on an undefeated regular season.
The Huskies have had a dominant regular season and a win at Georgetown would cap their season at a perfect 18-0.
It would only be the second time in program history that a team has finished the regular season with a perfect record.
Though the wins have been consistent, head coach Nancy Stevens says this team looks different than when it started its season in August.
“This year’s team has answered every challenge presented to them and have improved each week,” Stevens said. “An unintended consequence of injuries to key starters has been the experience gained by our freshmen. This will make us a deeper team in the postseason.”
Charlotte Veitner is the leader on an offensive juggernaut that averages 6.33 goals per game. Veitner leads the Big East in points (77), goals (30) and assists (17). Veitner’s closest competition in the Big East is her own teammate, Roisin Upton, who has 34 points.
The Hoyas will come into Saturday with an 8-9 record—their best mark since 2002—but Stevens says that the game’s biggest obstacle might be the field they play on.
“The challenge in playing Georgetown will be competing on their in-filled field,” Stevens said.
Georgetown’s turf is filled with small rubber bits and is designed to play like grass. This is preferable for sports like football and soccer, but causes problems for field hockey.
“We see this surface once a year, so it presents significant challenges and necessitates devising new attack penalty corners, new out letting schemes and new pressing schemes,” said Stevens. “NCAA Tournament games are prohibited from being play on an in-filled surface, so it is very disappointing that a conference game is permitted to be played on it.”
UConn should be well rested for Georgetown after their Wednesday meeting with UMass this weekend was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
Despite the change in schedule, Stevens doesn’t think her team should show any rust against Georgetown.
“Although we would have preferred the game with UMass could have been played, I don’t feel it changes our routine,” Stevens said. “We will be playing three games in nine days, which should keep us sharp.”
UConn’s pursuit of a perfect regular season will be concluded this Saturday at noon. The question is whether UConn will end its regular season flawlessly or if the Hoyas will successfully play the role of spoiler.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn field hockey. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.