The No. 2 ranked UConn field hockey team had its 33-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a loss to No. 3 ranked Maryland in a rematch of last year’s national championship game. The Huskies did win this weekend when they beat Temple on Friday 7-0.
The Huskies (10-1, 3-0 Big East) routed the visiting Temple Owls (2-8, 0-3 Big East) 7-0, UConn’s fifth shutout on the year. Abby Gooderham and Cecile Pieper each notched two goals on the day with Amanda Collins, Antonia Tiedtke and Maddy Wray each scoring goals of their own.
Just like everything else, the Huskies completely controlled the pace of play and kept their foot on the gas all game. UConn held a 22 shot advantage on the day, outshooting Temple 32-10 with 19 of those shots on goal. Penalty corners are always a point of emphasis for head coach Nancy Stevens and it showed as they had 15 opportunities compared to Temple’s six.
“We like to score around 30 percent of our penalty corners and we did that tonight,” Stevens said. “It’s something we work on every day on practice and thankfully we have the talented players that really makes a difference on penalty corners.”
Sunday was the matchup both teams had circled on their calendars: A rematch of the national title game from just a season ago. Maryland was forced to watch as UConn capped its perfect season with a 2-1 win in Louisville and they were determined to not let it happen again.
The Terrapins were in control of the game for the entire first half. Just over four minutes into the game, Maryland scored on their first penalty corner when Bodil Keus found the back of the net. Maryland tacked on two more goals before halftime, converting on three-of-four penalty corners.
The Huskies needed to make some changes for the second half as they were being outshot 6-0 and had not yet had a penalty corner in the first 35 minutes of action.
“We figured out a few things at halftime and played a much better second half and that’s what good teams do but we just weren’t good enough,” Stevens said postgame.
UConn came out and played a much more sound second half but it was too little, too late.
Three and a half minutes into the second half Maryland scored its fourth goal of the game on one of its four second half penalty corners but that did not discourage the reigning national champions.
Piper, the fifth-year senior, got UConn on the board after more than an hour of play with a point blank shot off the pass from junior Svea Boker. Piper wasn’t done yet though as she found the back of the net on UConn’s one and only penalty corner attempt at the 66:42 mark. Tiedtke and Boker were credited with assists on the play.
The Huskies were determined to not quit on the game as they continued to attack on offense trying to complete the comeback, but they fell short. Running out of time, not heart, UConn fell to an opponent for the first time since 2016.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our team’s performance,” Stevens said. “We fought to the end. Right now they’re better than we are. Our goal now is we have a month before postseason begins and they’ve shown us some of the things we need to work on.”
UConn will next take the field Friday when they pay a visit to conference rival Providence in a game set to start at 6 p.m.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.