Field Hockey: Huskies' defense dominant again as UConn stays perfect

The women's field hockey team dominated UMass 8-0 on Oct. 1, 2017. The huskies combined for Head Coach Nancy Stevens' 650 win. (Alexis Taylor/The Daily Campus)

Two games. Two victories. One shot on goal allowed.

Any hope that either Providence or Massachusetts could come into Storrs and upset the No. 1 team in the nation was quickly extinguished. From the beginning UConn suffocated both teams defensively to improve to a perfect 11-0 on the season.

What we’re trying to do is keep the University of Connecticut on the map. We want people, when they think of field hockey, to think of the University of Connecticut
— head coach Nancy Stephens

OFFENSE SELLS TICKETS, DEFENSE WINS GAMES

The difference between UConn and Providence on Friday was much further apart than the game’s 2-0 final score would indicate.

The Huskies held the Friars without a shot for the duration of the game. Head coach Nancy Stevens says that it was one of the more dominant showings she had seen from her team, despite being closer in goals than some of their previous games.

“You just can’t play much better,” Stevens said. “We’re just used to scoring five, six, seven, eight goals. That’s not the norm though. This is what should happen, this is a normal field hockey score.”

It’s games like Friday’s that help maintain the team’s reputation as one of the premier programs in the country.

“What we’re trying to do is keep the University of Connecticut on the map. We want people, when they think of field hockey, to think of the University of Connecticut,” Stevens said.

UConn also put the clamps on UMass on Sunday. The Minutewomen struggled to find any space to work offensively and almost every shot was blocked by a defender in a blue jersey.

The Huskies outshot UMass by a 19-1 margin in the 8-0 victory.

TIEDTKE RISES TO THE OCCASION

UConn was without their offensive sparkplug on Sunday. Forward Charlotte Veitner did not dress for Sunday’s game against UMass after suffering a mild concussion.

Veitner is UConn’s go-to option to start in the penalty corner, but the Huskies didn’t seem to miss her at all. Amanda Tiedtke didn’t miss a beat taking over for Veitner. The sophomore scored two goals, both coming on the penalty corner and assisted on another for good measure. Stevens credited Tiedtke’s preparation for her ability to take over the role.

“She knew that she was [Veitner’s] understudy, so she came out and practiced on her own for hours,” Stevens said. “She knew that if her time came she wanted to be up to the task.”

Stevens said that the hope is that Veitner will be cleared to play in Friday’s game against Villanova.

STEVENS MAKES HISTORY

Sunday’s victory over UMass was Steven’s 650th as head coach of the Huskies.

“We’ve won a lot of games here,” Stevens said. “Cheri [Schulz] and Paul [Caddy], this is their 17th season. They were a part of quite a few of those wins. They get a lot of credit.”

Stevens is the all-time winningest head coach in Division I field hockey history.

The Huskies will spend next weekend on the road. UConn and Villanova will face off at 7:00 p.m. next Saturday. UConn then heads to Princeton on Sunday for a noon game against the Tigers.


Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at bryan.lambert@uconn.edu.