With another perfect weekend in the books, the No. 3 UConn field hockey team (18-1, 7-0 Big East) sets their sights on the Big East conference tournament and after that, the national tournament.
Friday’s 5-1 win over Quinnipiac University capped off the regular-season home schedule for the Huskies, who end the season an undefeated 9-0 at the Sherman Sports Complex.
That brought the Huskies to their final test of the regular season, a road game against the No. 12 Boston College Eagles. Prior to the game, Head Coach Nancy Stevens stressed the significance of the matchup.
“This is a very important game for our program,” Stevens said. “You want to have a good enough resume for an at-large bid, if you fail to win your conference championship. A win against Boston College would really put us in a good position for an at-large, at the same time; a win for them against us would put them in a very good position. So, its an important game for us.”
It now seems likely that Stevens won’t have to stress about a bid in the national tournament. The Huskies took care of Boston College by a score of 4-3, thanks to an overtime goal from Casey Umstead.
The Huskies will head to Philadelphia this weekend as the top-seed of the Big East conference tournament. They’ll play the hosts, four-seed Temple, at 1 pm on Friday. If they win, UConn will play two-seed Liberty or three-seed Providence for their fifth-straight conference tournament championship.
Stevens understands that even as a top-team in the country, winning in the postseason isn’t promised.
“It’s never easy. The conference championship is a new season,” Stevens said. “It doesn’t matter what your record was. Even though we were undefeated in the regular season, we go into the conference championship and everyone is 0-0.”
You don’t find the level of success Stevens has found without always finding ways to improve, even with an 18-1 team like the Huskies.
“I think corner execution in the postseason is often times a determining factor in winning,” Stevens said. “[Friday] we had quite a few corners and didn’t score directly off of any. That has to be a point of emphasis. I really feel that we should be scoring more off the attack corner…we definitely need to focus on that.”