Field Hockey: UConn survives Syracuse, advances to Final Four

Senior forward Darby Smith (21) drives the ball down the field during the Huskies 5-1 victory over Quinnipiac University on Oct.28, 2016 at there Sherman Family Sports Complex. The team will advance to the NCAA Final Four on Friday. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

After defeating Boston College soundly in the opening round of the national tournament, the UConn field hockey team (22-1) topped the third-seed Syracuse Orange in double overtime to reach the Final Four.

The Huskies’ weekend began Saturday with a 5-0 thumping of the No. 11 Eagles. During the game, junior Charlotte Veitner made history by becoming the all-time points leader in program history. Veitner had two assists while sophomore Amanda Collins contributed two goals in the win at Coyne Stadium in Syracuse, New York.

UConn moved on from the Eagles for another date with the Orange. There’s a lot of history between these two programs, the Huskies defeated the Orange for the 2014 national championship. The Orange bounced back to take down UConn in the national semifinal last season.

Anna Middendorf broke the scoreless tie just 23 minutes into the game off an assist from Veitner. The Orange responded just two minutes later off a penalty corner to tie the game up. UConn’s Casey Umstead gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead at the half.

The second half was hard-fought, both teams were assessed multiple yellow-cards, but the Orange were able to tie up the game in the 66th minute off a penalty-corner conversion. The late goal sent the game into overtime.

In the double overtime, after nearly 100 minutes of play, the Huskies finally broke through, and who else would it be for the Huskies but Charlotte Veitner.

UConn caught one last spot and charged down the field in the 91st minute. Veitner caught a pass from Collins and was able to find the back of the net for the upset victory.

The Huskies had the edge in shots (10-9), and penalty corners (7-4).

With the win, the Huskies will reach the Final Four for the 14th time in program history.  

UConn will meet the No. 4 North Carolina Tarheels on Friday on the campus of Old Dominion University.


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue