The UConn field hockey team opened their season at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon against the Hofstra University Pride (0-2). The decisive win opens up UConn’s season record 1-0. This victory is UConn head coach Paul Caddy’s first game and first win as the head of the field hockey program.
Traditionally played in the fall, the Big East field hockey season is playing through the spring due to changes from the COVID-19 pandemic. Playing in the best situation the current state of affairs allows for, Hofstra met the Huskies in Storrs after playing in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. While this presented an unideal situation for the Pride, the Hofstra squad still played well and did not give up in the face of the powerful Huskies offense. Hofstra goaltender Merlihn van der Vegt made 10 saves against the 15 she faced from UConn.
The Huskies opened up the score sheet just six minutes into the game after sophomore midfielder Sophie Hamilton was able to get past van der Vegt to net the ninth goal of her career with UConn. Connecticut was able to score off of a penalty corner 2:34 into the second corner after senior back Kourtney Kennedy was able to score from teammates Morgan Kaufmann and Clare Van den Noort. Scoring in the first half of the game ended with Hamilton scoring again five minutes and 51 seconds into the second with an assist from Jessica Dembrowski.
Head coach Caddy said of Hamilton, “Everyone is talking about Paige Bueckers on our women’s basketball team, well Sophie is our Paige. She’s that good and she’s only a sophomore and we are thrilled to have her.”
UConn did not wait long to start scoring again, scoring their fourth goal after Kennedy scored off a corner, with assists from Kaufmann and Van den Noort at 8:48 in the third quarter. Kennedy would earn her hat trick at 2:24 in the fourth quarter. This was Kennedy’s first career hat trick. The Huskies took 23 shots over the course of the game, 15 of which being on goal, and 5 going into the back of the net. Hofstra was only able to record a single shot on goal. UConn also dominated penalty corners, going 9-0 during the game.
The Huskies will play their second game of the season on Friday, Feb. 19 when the team will travel to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph’s for a 12 p.m. matchup.