The UConn women's field hockey team will play UMass on Wednesday as the Huskies look to build on a successful weekend. UConn (9-0) moved up to No. 1 in the most recent NFHCA Coaches Poll after wins against Temple and No. 9 Boston University. The Huskies squeaked by North Carolina (8-2) by one point to claim the top spot. It is the first time UConn has reached No. 1 this season.
The Huskies played UMass earlier in the season, winning 2-1 in a match played at the Gladchuk Complex in Amherst. UMass (5-4) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in that game, with a goal scored by Grace Hogan. UConn responded with 10 shots in the second half and won the game 2-1 with goals from Anna Middendorf and Casey Umstead.
The Huskies will hope to lock down the defense this time around.
"Our focus is to get shutouts," head coach Nancy Stevens said. "To give up two goals, we're really unhappy with that."
UConn junior forward Charlotte Veitner will look to continue her recent hot streak. Veitner leads the team with 12 goals on the season and is third in Division I with 1.33 goals per game. In her last three games, Veitner has scored 10 goals and has been crucial to the Huskies’ late success.
Coach Stevens, however, prefers a more balanced approach to an offensive attack.
“It’s really hard as a team to count on one or two people to do all your scoring, because they can be shut down or they might have a bad day,” Stevens said. “So if you have that balance in scoring and can score from all those different areas I think it puts you in a better position to win.”
UMass is coming off a difficult weekend, and it won't get any easier against the Huskies. The Minutewomen lost to No. 18 Stanford 1-0, and then traveled to Boston to beat No. 9 Boston College 3-2 in overtime.
The match will be at 4 p.m. at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.
Josh Buser is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.