On its first of many match-filled weekends, the UConn field hockey team managed to split its first (and perhaps toughest) of the long season. After a tough overtime loss to No. 8 Rutgers 1-0 on Friday, the Huskies picked themselves back up and handedly defeated No. 7 Harvard 2-0 on Sunday, demonstrating skill and poise that one could say is found only in a top 10 team.
First was the Huskies’ trip to Piscataway, N.J. to take on the Scarlet Knights. The match, which began at 2 p.m. on Friday, was hard fought, with both sides on even footing for most of the day. Senior McKenna Sergi and freshman Jasmijn Damman both had two shots total and one shot on goal during the match, topping the UConn side. Grad student Cheyenne Sprecher had a great day in goal, seeing 11 shots through 70 minutes of play while gathering five saves. Despite that impressive performance, one managed to slip through in the 67th minute, allowing the Scarlet Knights to take the match. In what was really quite a nail-biter, the UConn women fought hard, only barely losing the battle of attrition.
After that disappointing loss, the Huskies dusted themselves off and headed up to Cambridge, Mass. to take on the Harvard Crimson on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. In an effort to make up for the last match, the women worked their way to an early lead from a corner opportunity with a goal from grad student Frances Carstens assisted by senior Claire Jandewerth in the seventh minute. Sprecher held down the fort in goal, scraping together another four saves on 12 shots faced until the Huskies made their way into the fourth quarter, when they added an insurance goal off the stick of junior Morgan Kaufmann, assisted by Sergi. With that, UConn managed to coast into the end of the match comfortably, putting its first top-15 win in its season trophy case.
Off that difficult weekend, the Huskies managed to come out the other side battle-hardened, proving that they will have what it takes going forward to keep up their winning ways. In facing a steep hill, they managed to climb it, and hope to keep their momentum going, even after a week of break. After resting up back in Storrs, they will head out on the road again to face the University of Delaware at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9.