The UConn Women’s field hockey team has the opportunity to finish with a perfect regular season this weekend when they take on Quinnipiac and Boston College.
Sporting a 15-0 record, the Huskies have been the most dominant team in Division I, maintaining their No. 1 ranking since Sept. 12. UConn has also already clinched the first overall seed for the Big East champions.
While an undefeated regular season would be nice, head coach Nancy Stevens says it’s not a main goal of the team.
“Programs are judged on championships, not records,” says Stevens. “This year’s team has one title so far, earning the regular season conference championship. There are two more titles to chase this season.”
Although the season’s last two games might not mean much for UConn’s playoffs hopes, the Huskies will use them as opportunity to improve.
“There are always opportunities to try different out letting and pressing schemes against upcoming opponents,” said Stevens.
A trip to Hamden to challenge Quinnipiac is first on the docket. UConn’s focus will likely be stopping Dayna Barlow. The senior midfielder leads the Bobcats in points and scored the first hat trick by a Quinnipiac player for the first time in four years last week.
The Huskies will then have a quick turnaround. Due to impending weather, Sunday’s game against BC was moved to Saturday. The Eagles are No. 11 in the Coach’s Association poll and have already cemented their spot against No. 2 Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference championships.
BC is a well-rounded offensive team. Four different players have double-digit point totals and goalkeeper Sarah Dwyer has been providing solid play in net.
As the season comes to a close, the Huskies finally have the opportunity to play under less than ideal conditions.
“This is the first time all season we’ve encountered heavy rain at practice or on game day, which is unusual,” said Stevens. “The Big East Championship and the NCAA Tournament may be played under adverse weather conditions, so it is important to practice in poor weather.”
Stevens says that rotations and playing times shouldn’t change despite clinching the Big East regular season title.
“Because the format for NCAA first and second round games is back to back, we will be playing our regular line-up for as many minutes as possible in our final two games,” Stevens said.
Friday’s game against Quinnipiac starts at 3:00 p.m. BC and UConn will then drop the curtain on the regular season when they square off at 1:00 p.m. at the George J Sherman Family Sports Complex.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.