The undefeated UConn Huskies will be defending their No. 1 ranking when Old Dominion and No. 20 Boston University arrive in Storrs this weekend.
UConn sits at the top of the NFHCA Coaches Poll for the first time all season after a weekend sweep of Pacific and Harvard pushed the Huskies’ record to 5-0. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 20-4 during the winning streak.
Head coach Nancy Stevens says that while being at the top of the rankings has its perks, it’s not something that is a focus in the locker room.
“The national ranking helps with recruiting top talent to our program,” Stevens said. “However, the only ranking that matters is the one after the final game of the season is played.”
Friday’s game against Old Dominion will be both teams’ first game in Big East play. In their lone matchup last season, UConn was able to escape with a win when senior Anna Middendorf netted a game winner with time expired.
Stevens believes one facet of the game in particular will be crucial to winning this year’s game as well.
“Corner execution will be a key factor,” said Stevens. “Our attack corner execution against Harvard was outstanding, as we scored on three penalty corners.”
Boston University will be the Huskies’ fifth opponent in seven games to be ranked within the top 20. BU is below .500 when playing on the road this season, but Stevens believes the Terriers will be a worthy test for the Huskies.
“Any team with four wins this early in the season is dangerous,” said Stevens. “Their defense has been a strength for them so far, so that will provide a good challenge for our attackers.”
UConn goalkeeper Nina Klein enters the weekend with a 1.03 goals against average, sixth in Division I. One of the few goalkeepers above Klein is BU’s Kathleen Keegan with a .33 goals against average in the Terriers’ six games.
Old Dominion and UConn will renew their Big East rivalry this Friday at 1:00 p.m. before the Terriers arrive in Storrs on Sunday. That game will also be at 1:00 p.m. Both games will be 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. He tweets @OfficialBrett.