After finishing a historic regular season a perfect 18-0, UConn field hockey still has a job to finish. The Huskies are looking for their fourth straight Big East Championship and will have to take down an old rival to get there. UConn and Old Dominion will meet in a Big East semi-final matchup this Friday at 2 p.m.
It is Lady Monarchs turn to play host after they traveled to UConn earlier in the season.
UConn escaped with a 1-0 victory in their previous meeting. Amelia lacobucci provided the game winner.
Old Dominion was one of the few teams all year to stick with UConn defensively and head coach Nancy Stevens is not expecting anything different now that it is tournament time.
“Old Dominion defends with everyone, which limits their opponent’s scoring opportunities,” Stevens said. “We will have to work very hard to create scoring and penalty corner opportunities.”
The Lady Monarchs’ defense will have to turn in the performance of a lifetime if they are going to stop UConn’s high-powered offense.
Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Charlotte Veitner, leads an offense that is one of the tops in the nation in both goals per game (6.22) and scoring margin (5.89).
The defense has been equally as stellar, allowing just six goals all season. Roisin Upton was named Defensive Player of the Year for helping solidify the Huskies’ defense.
The coaching staff was also named Coaching Staff of the Year for the ninth time under Stevens.
“Our coaching staff has worked together for fifteen years, so I feel that continuity has helped our program succeed,” Stevens said. “Any coaching honor we receive is a direct reflection on the quality of players we coach.”
Despite a regular season filled with a lot of ups and not a lot of downs, Stevens believes the team is prepared for the different atmosphere that postseason play brings.
“There is a sense of urgency in postseason games, as it is a ‘survive and advance’ mentality. Goals and key saves become more exciting, so the teams needs to maintain its focus,” Stevens said. “ I do believe our five starting seniors will help our team perform in postseason play.”
UConn and Old Dominion will fight for their Big East tournament lives in their semi-final matchup this Friday at 2 p.m.
Bryan Lambert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.