Field Hockey: No. 1 Huskies clinch Big East before suffering first loss of season

Freshman Barbara van den Hoogen (no. 6) takes the ball down the field in the Women's Field Hockey game against Liberty University on Saturday, Oct. 15.  The Huskies won 7-2.  The Huskies clinched the Big East regular season title with a win over Georgetown on Friday but then were handed their first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 5 Maryland, 2-1.  (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The No. 1 UConn field hockey team had an up and down weekend. The Huskies clinched the Big East regular season title with a win over Georgetown on Friday but then were handed their first loss of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 5 Maryland, 2-1. The loss snapped the Huskies’ 42-game regular season winning streak, and there are now no remaining undefeated teams in Division I.

UConn (16-1) jumped to an early lead, as senior defender Anna Middendorf scored five minutes into the game. The goal was off of a penalty corner, with assists given to junior Charlotte Veitner and sophomore Amanda Collins. For Veitner, the assist is the 47th of her career, passing Lizzy Peijs for the most in UConn history.

Maryland (13-3) tied the score on a penalty corner of their own in the 23rd minute. Grace Balsdon scored the goal, her 12th of the season. A few minutes before the half ended, Welma Luus scored her 13th goal of the season to put the Terrapins up 2-1.

UConn had five shots and one penalty corner in the second half, but couldn’t get anything by Maryland goalkeeper Sarah Bates. Bates had a career-high six saves in the game.

The Huskies outshot the Terrapins 12-9 in the game and earned four penalty corners to the Terps’ three.

In Friday’s game against Georgetown, five different players scored for UConn in a 5-3 win. The Huskies were up 2-0 just five minutes into the game, with unassisted goals from junior Karlie Heistand and freshman Barbara van den Hoogen.

Georgetown would answer with a quick goal of their own, and UConn sophomore Amanda Collins would score at the end of the half to put the Huskies up 3-1 at halftime.

At the beginning of the second half, Middendorf extended the Huskies’ lead to three. But before UConn got too comfortable, the Hoyas scored two goals within three minutes of each other to make the score 4-3.

UConn then buckled down defensively, as they only allowed three shots in the second half including the two goals by Georgetown. Junior Casey Umstead gave the Huskies some breathing room with a goal off of a penalty stroke with under five minutes to play in the game.

The Huskies will look to avenge their first loss against Quinnipiac on Friday. The game will be the last Big East matchup of the season for UConn.


Josh Buser is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.