After two hard-fought wins versus the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Monmouth University, the No. 15 ranked University of Connecticut field hockey team takes on the biggest challenge of their young season: nearly an entire month of playing away from the Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs. The very beginning of that odyssey is this weekend, when the women take on No. 8 Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey and No. 7 Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
At 2 p.m. Friday the Huskies will be taking on the Scarlet Knights, with whom they have an immensely favorable record, sitting at a whopping 24-3. That does come with a small caveat, however: the last meeting between the two schools was almost exactly a year ago from the date of their upcoming match, Sept. 3, 2021, when Rutgers took a close victory over the home team. Looking at the Knights’ season thus far, they’ve had a couple tough losses, one coming in the form of a shootout against No. 18 Duke University (with a final score of 2-1), and the other being a 5-0 blowout loss to No. 16 Saint Joseph’s University. They’ll certainly be looking to stop their slide at home when the Huskies come to town, so be on the lookout for a fiercely competitive match.
After a Saturday reprieve, UConn will head back north to face the Crimson on Sunday at 1 p.m. Though they appear to pose an even larger threat than the previous foe, the Huskies have Harvard’s number, holding an impressive 23-3 record against them. What’s more is that UConn has won the last eight matchups between these two universities, making Sunday all the more interesting: despite the lower ranking, will the Huskies manage to continue their dominance over the United States’ oldest college, or will Harvard turn the tide and prove themselves during their opening weekend by taking the Sunday match? How this plays out could have implications not only for the weekly rankings, but could position both schools in different directions going forward into the rest of the season.
This weekend will really test UConn’s mettle. They will have to conquer some of their toughest obstacles of the entire season right at its beginning by taking on two top-10 opponents. However, victories in one or both of these games could vault them right into that discussion, putting Connecticut up with the field hockey elite. And thus, this weekend could very well be the start of a journey to the top of collegiate field hockey for the Huskies.