Field Hockey: Balanced attack leads UConn over Drexel

The Huskies defeated the Drexel Dragons 7-2 at the Sherman Family sports complex. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

UConn’s women’s field hockey team played Drexel in their home opener Sunday afternoon, winning by a score of 7-2.  The victory is the Huskies’ (3-0) third straight to open the season.

The scoring started slow, remaining scoreless for the first 30 minutes before UConn scored two goals in the final five minutes of the half. Junior Casey Umstead scored on a penalty stroke, and senior Anna Middendorf added a goal two minutes later off a penalty corner.

UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens talks about UConn's 7-2 win over Drexel on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (YouTube/UConn Huskies)

“I have to give Drexel a lot of credit,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “It was 2-0 at half, so they put in a really good defensive effort. Their goalie had 14 saves, that’s a good day at the office.”

UConn turned it on in the second half, piling on five more goals on 17 shots. Svea Booker, Karlie Heistand, Amanda Collins, Barbara van den Hoogen and Casey Umstead each tallied a goal in the half.  Six different Huskies scored in the game, in a balanced attack that Coach Stevens was impressed with.

“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.”

In addition to the balance in goal scorers, the Huskies scored in several different ways.

“What’s great is we scored on a penalty stroke, we scored on penalty corners, we scored from the edge of the circle with our midfield shooting and then we scored in close with our strikers,” Stevens said. “When you have a four-headed monster, you can beat a lot of teams.”

UConn outshot Drexel 34-7 in the game, and took 10 penalty corners to Drexel’s three. After only scoring two goals on 17 shots in the first half, the Huskies were determined to stay with their game plan.

“We really continued to spread the field and play with poise, and I think that’s a sign of maturity,” Stevens said.  “We had patience and trust in the game plan and each other, so the game opened up for us.”

UConn will look to build on their perfect record on Friday at UMass.


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