With the playoffs quickly approaching, Big East rival Liberty is the next team that will try to hand UConn their first loss of the season.
The Flames enter the weekend with a 5-7 overall record but a 3-1 record in conference play.
“Liberty will provide a good challenge for our team,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “They have lots of talent in the skill positions and have played top teams like Delaware and Wake Forest very closely.”
Most of Liberty’s offense comes from Midfielder Agueda Moroni. The sophomore is among the elite goal scorers in the country, averaging one goal per game, a rate that puts her fifth in the nation. Moroni’s 12 goals and 28 points are more than double those of her next-closest teammate.
One of the few players above Moroni on the scoring charts is UConn’s own Charlotte Veitner.
The senior forward became UConn’s all-time leading goal scorer during last Friday’s 12-0 drubbing of Villanova. After six tallies last weekend, the new record stands at 103 goals.
Senior goalkeeper Nina Klein also stands alone in the UConn record books after collecting her 76th and 77th career wins, the most in program history. In addition to the all-time wins record, Klein’s next shutout will move her into a tie for the career shutout record of 33.
While her senior classes’ accomplishments are remarkable, Stevens is always quick to distribute praise to the team as a whole and believes Veitner and Klein would as well.
“Nina and Charlotte would be the first to say that their teammates have created much of [Nina’s and Charlotte’s] success. Playing in a program that wins almost every game played and reaches the Final Four each year during your career will result in individual players receiving recognition,” Stevens said. “Any individual accomplishment is the result of the collective efforts by the team.”
With a 13-0 record and a grip on the first seed in the Big East tournament, you might think the Huskies might start lessening their workload to prepare for the long haul and give some of their new player minutes. You would be mistaken.
“The format for the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament will be a Saturday/Sunday schedule. Our players will need to be fit and ready to play back-to-back games,” said Stevens. “We will be increasing the intensity in practice and games rather than resting players.”
The Huskies and their ratcheted intensity will head down to Virginia this Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. start time at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
Bryan Lambert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.