It was a battle of undefeated teams on Sunday as the UConn Huskies field hockey team faced off against the University of Michigan Wolverines in UConn’s first road tilt of the season. A strong second half for the Huskies, thanks to another great performance from Casey Umstead, gave UConn a tightly-contested 2-1 victory.
Michigan (3-1) got off to a quick start, landing a shot on goal within the first three minutes of the game, but Nina Klein was there with the block to keep the Wolverines off the board. In the tenth minute, UConn had a man-up advantage as Michigan drew a green card, but the Huskies were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
Klein made back-to-back impressive stops in the 20th minute, and UConn (3-0) took a penalty corner in the 23rd but the shot off Umstead’s stick was blocked by Michigan goalkeeper Sam Swenson. UConn came close to scoring again in the 26th minute thanks to the efforts of Barbara van den Hoogen, but Swenson was there again to make the save. A yellow card in the 28th gave the Huskies an advantage, but they were unable to score and the first half came to a close, Michigan outshooting UConn 4-3 (SOG 4-1).
The second half started off poorly for the Huskies, who were issued a yellow card seven minutes into play. However, down one man, UConn took two penalty corners. The first was blocked by Swenson, the second took a bad deflection. Back at full strength, UConn had to defend a push into their circle by the Wolverines who couldn’t handle a shot, keeping the game tied.
Michigan was issued a green card with just over 20 minutes left in regulation, putting UConn up one man in time for a penalty corner, but Swenson again made an impressive save to keep the game scoreless.
A penalty corner in the 54th minute finally gave the Huskies a goal off the stick of Umstead, the assist coming from Margot Colenbrander. Another penalty corner in the 57th minute went without a shot, but a goal-line foul during a second corner in the 58th minute lead to a penalty stroke by Umstead. She found the back of the net and scored her second goal of the game, giving UConn a 2-0 lead in the 58th.
A ten-minute yellow card for Amanda Collins in the 61st minute gave Michigan an advantage for the final minutes of the game. UConn’s penalty corner in the 63rd gave Umstead another chance, but her shot was wide.
The Huskies couldn’t hold Michigan off for long, surrendering a goal to Meg Dowthwaite in the 66th off a penalty corner. A penalty corner in the 69th led to a shot from Dowthwaite, but Klein was there with the save to stop the Wolverine rally.
The 2-1 score would go final as UConn improves their record to 3-0 this season. Next up, field hockey comes home to Storrs for a Friday night game against Pacific.
Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.