No. 1 UConn field hockey won two games this weekend to remain the last undefeated team in Division I. The Huskies (15-0, 5-0 Big East) defeated conference foe Liberty 7-2 on Saturday, and then beat Yale 8-1 Sunday afternoon.
Against Liberty, UConn led with a balanced scoring attack, featuring goals by six different players. Senior Montana Fleming got the scoring started with a goal five minutes into the game. In the next 20 minutes, the Huskies scored four more times, with goals by Amanda Collins, Charlotte Veitner, Darby Smith and Amelia Iacobucci. Liberty would get on the board just before the half to make the score 5-1 UConn at halftime.
UConn would go on to win the game 7-2 with goals scored by Casey Umstead and Amanda Collins. Freshman forward Svea Boker recorded four assists in the game, bringing her total to team-leading 11 on the season.
“Svea is so unselfish, and she is also a really gifted passer,” UConn Head Coach Nancy Stevens said. “It’s a great combination.”
The Flames (5-7) fall to 3-2 in Big East play. With the win, UConn clinches at least a share of the Big East regular season title. The Huskies will have a chance to win the title outright with a win at Georgetown next weekend.
“We have 30 Big East trophies, and we’d love to have 32 at the end of the season,” Stevens said. “We’re not good at sharing. Our goal is always to win the conference regular season, to win the conference championship tournament and then to advance into the NCAA tournament as far as we can.”
Sunday’s game against Yale was more of the same for the Huskies. Eight different players scored in an 8-1 victory. Seven assists were recorded for the Huskies, in an offensive attack that had everybody involved.
“I do think that that’s what’s helping our season be so successful, because we don’t depend on just one person to do the scoring,” Stevens said. “We’re really pleased with how things are going.”
On Senior Day, seniors Anna Middendorf, Darby Smith and Montana Fleming each scored a goal after being honored in a pregame ceremony. Junior Charlotte Veitner scored a goal and recorded two assists in the game. Veitner’s second assist placed her in a tie for the most career assists in a UConn uniform.
Coach Stevens scheduled games on Saturday and Sunday this weekend to prepare for a possible NCAA tournament run where the schedule is also back to back games. She was interested to see how her team would respond to the tougher schedule.
“We scored 15 goals in the two games, and the team didn’t seem like back-to-back (games) was a problem,” Stevens said. “We have to make the NCAA tournament, but if we make it, I think we’re ready for the back-to-back format.”
The Huskies will hit the road next weekend for games at Georgetown and at No. 6 Maryland, hoping to keep their undefeated season going.
Josh Buser is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.