Field Hockey: Veitner, Middendorf lead Huskies over pair of Top 15 opponents

The Huskies defeated the Drexel Dragons 7-2 at the Sherman Family Sports Complex on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo by Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The Huskies defeated the Drexel Dragons 7-2 at the Sherman Family Sports Complex on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo by Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut field hockey team traveled south for the weekend to take on No. 13 Old Dominion and No. 14 Virginia. Behind the leadership of senior Anna Middendorf and junior Charlotte Veitner, the Huskies (7-0) come home with two huge victories, continuing their perfect start to the season.

On Friday evening, the Huskies took on Big East Conference rival, No. 13 Old Dominion. After two games last year with one-goal margins of victory for UConn, both teams knew it would be a tough battle.

Two minutes into the game, Middendorf put the Huskies ahead with a goal off of a penalty corner. The score remained 1-0 for more than 60 minutes until late in the second half.

In the 64th minute, the Lady Monarchs tied the game with a goal off of a penalty corner scored by freshman Erin Huffman.

The game looked to be heading into overtime until UConn earned a penalty corner just before time expired. Old Dominion initially made the save, but there was a violation by the Monarchs on the play, giving the Huskies another opportunity.

In the 70th minute with no time on the clock, Veitner took the penalty corner and Middendorf ripped a shot into the left corner for her second goal of the game and sixth on the season.

The thrilling victory may pay dividends for UConn later in the season, as the 2016 NCAA Final Four happens to be at Old Dominion.

There was no time for the Huskies’ hearts to recover, as they traveled to Charlottesville, scoring for a matchup with No. 14 Virginia on Sunday afternoon.

UConn’s star forward Veitner seemed to like playing in Charlottesville, scoring six goals in a career performance. Veitner started the scoring early, with a goal 58 seconds into the game. She added another in the 19th minute as the Huskies took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

UConn was relentless, in the second half, firing 11 shots and making sure there would be no nail-biting endings this time.

For a 13 minute interval in the middle of the half, Veitner scored four more goals, upping her total to eight this season. The Huskies rode Veitner’s huge performance to an 8-0 victory on a big stage.

This weekend was a big test for the Huskies, and they turned to two familiar faces, Middendorf and Veitner, to get the job done. UConn will look to ride the momentum of this weekend into another Big East matchup against Temple on Friday afternoon at the George J. Sherman Family Complex.


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