The UConn field hockey team cruised to an 8-0 conference opener win over Quinnipiac Saturday at George Sherman Family Sports Complex.
The Huskies got off to a quick start as freshman Maddy Wray scored at 4:16 off the first penalty corner of the game. Two minutes later, the Huskies quickly won back possession and senior Amanda Collins picked up a pass from junior Antonia Tiedtke before dribbling past several Bobcat defenders and scoring on a shot from in front.
“It’s a priority for us to get off to a fast start,” UConn head coach Nancy Stevens said. “We like to control the tempo of the game.”
UConn dominated in every aspect of the game, leading Quinnipiac 25-3 in shots and 10-1 in penalty corners, two of which they scored on. The Huskies had the vast majority of possession and controlled the game with their passing. Junior Svea Boker scored on a shot from the left, Cecile Pieper converted off a penalty corner and freshman Liz Romano scored off a pass from Pieper to give the Huskies a 5-0 halftime lead, putting the game to bed.
“I like the patient build-up style we played,” Stevens said. “It gives us confidence to not turn it over.”
Redshirt senior Pieper recorded two goals and two assists, Boker added two goals and an assist, and four other Huskies, Collins, Wray, Romano, and sophomore Vivienne Tucker, got on the score sheet. In goal, sophomore Cheyenne Sprecher stopped all three shots that came her way.
“What’s special about us is we give a complete team effort,” Stevens said. “A lot of reserves got to play today and we’re scoring by committee, that makes us dangerous.”
Pieper, fresh off being named the National Field Hockey Coaches Association defensive player of the week, was outstanding on both sides of the ball, helping to keep a shutout while recording six points.
“We’ve been working on some different shapes,” Pieper said. “We’re improving every week and still are getting to know each other.”
UConn may have been given extra motivation to win after being bumped down to No. 2 in the national rankings while UNC took their place at No. 1 despite the Huskies tallying more first- place votes than the Tar Heels.
“I’m curious why we got moved down but we play Carolina this season so we’ll settle it on the field,” Stevens said.
The Huskies will travel to Norfolk, VA to play Old Dominion on Friday.
Story Salit is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.