Field Hockey: UConn prepares for NCAA tournament

UConn freshman defender Madison Ryon handles the ball during the Huskies' game against Princeton at the Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Connecticut on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. The team earned its bid to the NCAA Tournament in Virginia Sunday after defeating Temple 7-3 in the Big East championship. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

No. 3 UConn women’s field hockey earned its bid to the NCAA Tournament in Virginia Sunday after defeating Temple in the Big East championship 7-3. Seedings were released later that night, with UConn seeded No. 4. Syracuse, North Carolina and Virginia took the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds.

“I do feel the seeding was fair, because the teams in the ACC conference are protected by the strength of their conference,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “We are focusing on the fact that we are hosting, which is great.”

The Huskies will host Louisville Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. UConn has a perfect record this season (20-0) and is undefeated since September of last season. The Louisville Cardinals are 11-6 this season, with five of their six losses within the ACC.

"We enjoyed our Big East rivalry with Louisville when they were a member of the Big East Conference,” Stevens said on the matchup. “Our senior class competed against their senior class, but both teams have changed a great deal over the past three years.”

The George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex will be the site of the first and second rounds of the tournament. Aside from the Huskies game against Louisville, Boston College will face Albany the same day at 2 p.m. in Storrs. The winners of both first round games will play each other Sunday afternoon at the Sherman Complex.

Sunday winners earn themselves a spot in the Final Four, which will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Huskies enter this tournament as leaders in many of the NCAA’s statistical categories. UConn leads the nation in scoring average and scoring margin, with sophomore Charlotte Veitner scoring the most goals per game (1.90) among D-I players.

"Our message to the team this week is to play at a higher intensity to prepare for postseason. We expect a very close game against Louisville,” Stevens said.

This will be the Huskies 14th time appearing in the NCAA Tournament under Stevens. The Huskies have qualified for the tournament in 19 of their last 20 seasons, all under Stevens. UConn enters the tournament as the reigning national champion, having won the tournament back-to-back in 2013 and 2014.


Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn field hockey. She can be reached at mary.burkhardt@uconn.edu.