Separated by less than 50 miles, UConn and UMass are perhaps New England’s two best public schools in terms of athletics. The Huskies and Minutemen have been battling it out for decades, and both have storied histories.
“We’ve been playing them, I think since the 1800s or shortly after, maybe 1900s,” UConn baseball head coach Jim Penders said.
On Tuesday afternoon, the schools will add two more chapters to their rivalry. UMass will send its baseball and softball teams to Storrs for a pair of midweek games against the Huskies.
UConn baseball split their series with UMass last season, losing to the Minutemen 9-5 on the road before getting revenge with a 5-0 victory when UMass came to J.O. Christian Field. In softball, UMass defeated the Huskies 7-4 at Burrill Family Field in Storrs.
Elsewhere in this rivalry, the two schools have competed for eras across multiple sports.
In football, the schools played for the first time in 1897, when Massachusetts Agricultural College defeated Storrs Agricultural College 36-0. Coincidentally, UConn “one upped” that blowout in their most recent meeting, defeating the Minutemen 37-0 in 2012. UMass leads the all-time football series 36-34-2 with the next matchup scheduled for 2018 at Rentschler Field.
UConn and UMass also both compete in Hockey East for men’s ice hockey. The Huskies took three of the possible four points in their series last season, but the Minutemen lead the all-time series 26-12-3. Since UConn joined Hockey East in 2014-15, the Huskies are 3-2-1 against UMass. UConn women’s hockey team is also in Hockey East, but UMass does not field a Division I women’s hockey team.
The men’s basketball rivalry has been quiet recently, but the teams played each year from 1996-2005. The Huskies won nine of those 10 games, with the lone loss coming the season after UConn’s 2004 National Championship where the Huskies came into the game ranked No. 7 in the country.
In field hockey, UConn and UMass met twice in non-conference games this season. The Huskies won both games, defeating the Minutewomen 2-1 on the road and 8-1 at home. UConn leads the all-time series with a 36-13-3 record against the New England rival.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.