Fresh off its second win of the season, the UConn field hockey team is looking to add two more wins in a pair of Top 25 matchups this week. The Huskies are set to take on No. 3 Boston College on the road on Friday, while No. 16 Syracuse comes to town on Sunday afternoon.
The stretch of tough competition continues for UConn, who will absolutely be ready for the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. They know exactly what to expect, having played some of the best teams in the country in just the season’s first three weeks.
So far this season, the Huskies have lacked a consistent scoring option, as the team has only put up four goals in as many games. The competition has been tough, but UConn’s lack of scoring has been a glaring weakness thus far. On the bright side, freshman forward Sophia Ugo has scored in both of the last two games, earning her Big East Freshman of the Week honors. Look for her to try to continue her streak this weekend.
Other players on the verge of breaking out include preseason all-conference midfielder Abby Gooderham, who is looking to make a bigger impact this year. She currently leads the team in shots taken but has failed to convert thus far, though her first goal is seemingly inevitable. Defender Claire Jandewerth was able to help the team offensively out of the backfield last season, scoring the second-most goals on the team in 2020. She hopes to impact the team in the same fashion this year.
The Huskies slipped in the national rankings this week, falling from No. 6 overall to No. 12 after dropping two of their first four games to ranked Northwestern and Rutgers. If they want to at least stay at No. 12 overall, they will have to win at least one of their games this weekend.
Boston College is currently red hot, as it started the season 4-0 with big wins over Northwestern, Maryland, and Maine — all ranked teams. They are averaging nearly three goals a game, so it looks like the UConn defense will be busy on Friday. The Eagles are led by junior midfielder Milagros Arteta, who leads the team in goals and points with four and eight, respectively. This match would be a huge win for the Huskies, as it could build their resume to win an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament (if they don’t win the Big East Tournament).
Meanwhile, Syracuse has had some early successes, starting out 2-0 before dropping their first game to No. 23 Kent State this past weekend in an overtime stunner. While definitely a more favorable matchup for UConn, the Huskies will still have their work cut out for them on Sunday. A player to look out for is Syracuse forward Pleun Lammers, who is currently second in the country in goals per game with 1.67. If the Huskies want to win their first home contest of the year, they’re going to need to keep Lammers at bay.