The UConn field hockey team is set to face off against Providence Friday for the semifinals of the Big East tournament. The Huskies were the regular season champions, going undefeated in 17 games. They are ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Regular season awards for UConn players were plentiful. Charlotte Veitner is the leading goal scorer in the nation and earned herself her third Big East Offensive Player of the Year. Casey Umstead earned Defensive Player of the Year after five weekly selections this season in addition to an offensive weekly selection earlier this year.
First Team selections included Veitner and Umstead, along with Amanda Collins and Nina Klein. Karlie Heistand and Margot van Hecking Colenbrander both received Second Team selections. Finally, UConn’s coaching staff was named best of the year in the Big East after leading their team on a 25-game Big East win streak dating all the way back to the 2013 season.
Friday night’s game will see a rematch against Providence at their home field. Last time these two teams met, UConn won 2-0 while Providence failed to get a single shot. Despite the 22-shot advantage during the game, Providence had a tough defense and held UConn’s explosive offense to only two goals.
“It’s going to be a good challenge because against Providence the score was 2-0, one of the closest games we’ve played this season here, and now we’re going to their place. We’re going to have to be very good on Friday to win,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “Their goalkeeping that day was really extraordinary. She had 14 saves, which is a really good day’s work for a goalkeeper. Although we had 13 penalty corners against one, their corner defense was outstanding.”
Stevens highlighted the importance of attacking corners in Friday’s matchup in order for her team to succeed.
“Sometimes you don’t always score on every shot, and that’s fine,” Veitner said on playing a tough defense. “Not everything’s going to go in but we have the trust in our ability and ourselves that we’re going to end up scoring. It’s about not getting frustrated.”
Should the Huskies win, they would go on to play Sunday against the winner of the Liberty/Old Dominion matchup also taking place Friday. UConn shut out both of these teams during the regular season, defeating Liberty 3-0 and Old Dominion 6-0.
Rachel Schaefer is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.