The UConn women’s field hockey team defeated Temple University 7-3 Sunday afternoon to win the big East Championship and receive an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.
This was UConn’s 4th consecutive time winning the Big East Championship, and 11th time since 2000. With Sunday’s win, this will be the third time head coach Nancy Stevens has led her team to three consecutive tournament titles.
UConn’s first five goals were unanswered by Temple, and occurred within the first 15 minutes of the game. Sophomore Casey Umstead scored the first goal, with the assist by senior Roisin Upton. The Huskies extended their lead with a goal by graduate student Pippa Lewis, her sixth of the season. Lewis scored shortly after her first goal, giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead eight minutes into the game.
Sophomore Karlie Heistand followed up Lewis’ pair of goals on an assist from sophomore Charlotte Veitner. The Huskies earned their fifth goal with a goal from the team’s leading scorer, Veitner. Her first half goal was her 37th of the year, and she added another in the final minutes of the game on Sunday.
Temple got on the board in the 18th minute with a goal from Sarah Deck. The senior’s goal was followed up by a goal from Alyssa Delp to shorten the Huskies’ lead to three goals.
The Huskies came back in the second half with another goal from Upton on a penalty corner, her second of the game and 15th of the season. Temple’s Delp scored her second of the game, before UConn extended their lead to four goals with a goal from Veitner, her 38th of the year.
Following the game, Veitner was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Veitner made the All-Tournament Team alongside senior Roisin Upton, who received the Defensive Player of the Year award. Junior Anna Middendorf, sophomore Casey Umstead and graduate student Pippa Lewis also were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament begin next Saturday, Nov. 14, with the championship game the following Friday. UConn has gone to the tournament 14 times and has been a qualifier 19 of their last 20 seasons.
Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn field hockey. She can be reached at email@example.com.