A dictionaries’ worth of words could be used to describe the UConn field hockey team’s season as they prepare for the National Championship game against Maryland on Sunday.
The No. 1 ranked Huskies have steamrolled their way through collegiate field hockey; going a perfect 22-0 coming into Sunday. The offense has been explosive, averaging 4.76 goals per game and their defense has been suffocating, holding opponents to 0.61 goals per game.
They also set individual records along the way. Senior Charlotte Veitner became just the 12th player in NCAA history to record over 100 goals in a career and goalkeeper Nina Klein’s 37 wins are also a program record.
But this is a program that competes for championships, not stats. Every single game and practice has been in preparation of The National Championship Game and that day is finally here.
UConn and No. 9 Maryland will lock horns in Trager Stadium at the University of Louisville to battle for the national championship at 2 p.m. Sunday.
UConn is making its fifth straight Final Four appearance and today’s game will be their third appearance in the championship game in five seasons. Experience should be on UConn’s side. Their sophomore, junior and senior classes have all been to the Final Four before.
This is a new ordeal for everybody on Maryland’s roster but what the Terps lack in experience on the field, they more than make up for on the sidelines.
Head coach Missy Meharg is in her 30th season at the helm of the Terps. Meharg’s nine Coach of the Year awards are an NCAA record and she had a hand in all of Maryland’s eight national championships. Meharg was an assistant coach on the 1987 title team before taking over head-coaching duties the following year and winning titles in 1993, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011.
UConn has struggled historically against Maryland. The Huskies are 1-5 all time against the Terps, including a 2-1 loss that ended a 42-game regular season winning streak last season.
Midfielder Lein Holsboer leads Maryland offensively. The senior has collected 37 points on 11 goals and 15 assists. The duo of Bodil Keus and Linnea Gonzalez can also put points on the board, with 23 combined goals on the season.
Maryland goalkeeper Sarah Holliday’s .762 save percentage ranks 10th in the nation.
Fans can watch a new champion be crowned live on NCAA.com Sunday afternoon.
Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.