Field Hockey: Huskies fall on Senior Day in double overtime

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The Huskies suffer a 2-1 double overtime loss against UMass during a sunny Sunday afternoon matchup on Oct. 24, at the George Sherman Family Sports Complex. Even though UConn dominated most of the game heavily outshooting UMass 24-7 after UConn senior Lindsay Dickinson scored off of a penatly corner early in the game, the Huskies couldn’t find the back of the net. UConn will finish the regular season with a home game against Delaware on Sunday, Oct. 31 at noon. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus

If only regulation was 57 minutes long. 

The UConn field hockey team had an up-and-down weekend, taking care of business against Georgetown on Friday while falling to No. 20 UMass on Sunday’s Senior Day matchup. 

In the very first minute of Friday’s game, the Huskies earned a penalty corner. They failed to convert off of a Jessica Dembrowski feed. Just three minutes later, the Hoyas found themselves with a corner of their own. They too failed to find the back of the cage. 

This seemed to set a precedent: In the first half alone, UConn and Georgetown combined for 14 penalty corners and couldn’t slip one past either keeper. For the Hoyas, any offensive push would simply get shut down by the Connecticut defense. For the Huskies, there were many instances of attackers working their way to the front of the cage, creating many opportunities for them. At that point, however, there was so much congestion that it was nearly impossible to slip one by the many Georgetown defenders. 

At the end of the first half, the score was tied 0-0, with 13 total shots being fired off. The only ball that hit the back of the cage was a long through ball that didn’t connect with the UConn strikers, leaving Hoya keeper Ciara Weets to pass by untouched for no score. 

The third quarter started off with a lot of the same — some back-and-forth play with more opportunities for the home team than the visitors. Just as the period was coming to a close, the Huskies broke through on a Madi Herb tip pass to Dembrowski right in front of the goal, who had an easy tap-in to take the lead late. Not one minute later, UConn struck again, this time earning a penalty stroke which was cashed by Claire Jandewerth. These two quick goals were enough to put the defending Big East champions on top for good, as the game ended with a score of 2-0. 

Over the length of the entire game, Georgetown wasn’t able to put any of their eight shots on goal — a massive credit to the Husky defense. Goalie Cheyenne Sprecher was definitely on her toes the whole game, but didn’t have to flash that Big East Defensive Player of the Year ability of hers. There were a couple passing mistakes from the defense, allowing the Hoyas to go on breakaways. But each time, UConn did a great job in recovering the ball before any real danger could happen. 

Sunday’s matchup against UMass marked the Huskies’ senior day, with seven players being honored before the game. Olivia Clarke, Dembrowski, Lindsay Dickenson, Abby Gooderham, Kourtney Kennedy, Frances Mirabile and Sprecher all received their deserved moments.  

Despite all these honorees, it was Dickenson who had the biggest day, earning her first goal of the season just seven minutes into the game thanks to assists from Morgan Kaufmann and Dembrowski. It was a big moment for the senior, especially against a top tier opponent like the Minutewomen. 

From the jump, UConn was ready to play, applying pressure on the UMass defense early. The Minutewomen created a couple of quality opportunities in the first half, especially with two corners under as many minutes to go, but nothing surfaced as the second half started 1-0 Huskies. 

The second half continued with more of the same, with UConn doing a great job of keeping the ball on the opposition’s half of the field. In the middle of the third quarter, it looked as though the Huskies would double their lead, but a high Dickenson shot bounced off the crossbar, robbing her of another clutch goal. 

The final quarter showed a relentless fight from Connecticut, who were understandably not content with their one-goal lead. They maintained possession for the vast majority of the period, firing off 10 shots but failed to convert on any of them. 

The defense was stellar again, at least for the first 57 minutes. At that point, Sprecher only had one save to her name and the team looked like a lock to secure their eighth shutout on the season. Disaster struck the Huskies from that point forward, with UMass bringing their keeper out in favor of an extra attacker. With some momentum, the Minutewomen forced two corners. The second of the two was successful, tying up the score with just over a minute of regulation. 

In both overtime periods, there was a lot of back-and-forth play, with each team getting quality looks on goal. The Huskies had a real chance in the first period, with Sophia Ugo obtaining a breakaway ball from Dembrowski, but it was shut down by the opposition’s keeper. It seemed as though penalty strokes were imminent until UMass’ Jessica Beech found the back of the net off of her own corner with three minutes of play remaining, sealing the game for the Minutewomen 2-1. 

UConn will try to look forward next week, where the team wraps up regular season play at home against No. 23 Delaware on Sunday after traveling to Temple on Friday. 

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