The UConn field hockey team shut out Providence on the road before dropping a tough game to No. 5 Princeton on senior day.
Before Sunday’s matchup with Princeton (8-6, 2-2 Big East), UConn (11-2, 4-0 Big East) honored the team’s five seniors—Captain Amanda Collins, Cecile Pieper, Amelia Iacobucci, Ashley Rich and Julia Russo—in a pregame ceremony. They went 79-4 during their time in Storrs while winning the Big East regular season and tournament titles in each season. As a class they also played in three NCAA Final Fours and won a National Championship last season.
“They’ve done everything we’ve asked them,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “They couldn’t have done much more for our program and for the University of Connecticut. And they’re also great students. They will be missed.”
Three different Huskies scored on Friday night to lead UConn to a 3-0 victory over conference opponent Providence. Collins put the Huskies on the board first off a pass from Antonia Tiedtke at the 14:47 mark. Collins and Tiedtke would later get credited with assists on Abby Gooderham’s goal. Peiper would go on and score the last of the three goals off of a rebound.
Cheyenne Sprecher earned her sixth shutout of the season in a game where the Huskies outshot the Friars 12-4 and finished with a 7-2 advantage in penalty corners.
“It really is a terrific group of young women and they’re remarkable,” Stevens said.
As far as Sunday’s action was concerned, it was all Princeton in their 5-2 win. The Tigers (10-3, 3-0 Ivy League) got on the board just over seven minutes into the game on a Clara Roth goal. The first half scoring would end there, even with Princeton holding advantages in shots (9-1) and penalty corners (6-1).
“It was a tale of two halves,” Stevens said. “In the second half, the shots and corners were even but you can’t spot a team three goals in the first half.”
UConn came out firing early in the second half but could not take advantage of two early penalty corners before Princeton was able to score again, this time at the 39:58 mark. Not even a minute of gameplay later, junior Svea Boker found the back of the net for the Huskies’ first goal of the afternoon and her ninth on the season.
The Tigers responded at just about the 45-minute mark with their third goal of the day to take a 3-1 lead. Moments later, a barrage of goals went off with both teams trading tallies. In the span of about two minutes, the top-five teams combined for three goals with one coming from the stick of UConn junior Antonia Tiedtke.
Ultimately, Princeton finished with a 5-2 victory, giving UConn their second loss on the season. This was the first time the Huskies lost back-to-back home games since 2005 and the first time they allowed five goals in a game since Oct. 2015.
“We gotta gain experience and pretty quickly because postseason is just a month away,” Stevens said. “But the great thing is, postseason is a month away. So we have a month to get better.”
There are plenty of opportunities for UConn to improve and get ready for a postseason run. Most notably, they will face the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels in just a week, but can’t lose focus on Big East rival Villanova.
“We’re gonna learn from our losses and keep moving forward,” Collins said. “We hope to be No. 1 in the conference going into the tournament. So we’re gonna focus on that for now.”
UConn will host Villanova at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex their next time out. Game time is set for 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12.
Kevin Arnold is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.