Field Hockey: Huskies set to take on Rutgers and Harvard at home 

Connecticut’s Roisin Upton, left, and Anna Middendorf, right, celebrate after defeating Duke 2-0 during the Division 1 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 in Norfolk, VA. The Huskies look to recreate the magic they found 10 years ago as this season continues to roll on. Photo by AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Rich-Joseph Facun

After a mediocre 1-1 road trip for the UConn women’s field hockey team, they look to bounce back strong, this time at home taking on Rutgers and Harvard.  

Connecticut’s first matchup on Friday will be against Rutgers University, and it’s safe to say it will be one tall task. The Scarlet Knights come into this weekend boasting a perfect 3-0 record, edging out the talented UC Davis, Stamford and Cal. Rutgers has conceded one goal all season long, and in their most recent match against the Golden Bears, they were the more aggressive team, getting 15 shots off and nine on goal. This season, they have outshot their opponents 47-19, including a 25-9 ratio of shots on goal, a testament to their ability to compete on both ends of the pitch.  

While Rutgers is exceptionally talented, don’t count out UConn either. Connecticut historically plays Rutgers well, owning a 24-4 record against them. Interestingly enough, Rutgers beat UConn 1-0 in their last matchup, in a defensive classic that went to overtime. With the Scarlet Knights’ recent success and the Huskies’ historical success, it’s uncertain who will come out on top. However, what is certain is that this will be must-watch field hockey; if the Huskies persevere, they will put the rest of their opponents on notice. 

UConn’s second match at home will be just as hard, taking on the talented Harvard University team. Last season, the Ivy League powerhouse finished their 2022 campaign 13-4. The Crimson have not played a match yet this season, and the Huskies will be the second match of their weekend road trip. Something of note is that the women from Cambridge outshot their opponents significantly last season, averaging 14.6 to their opponent’s 6.3 per contest.  

Despite the tall task ahead of them, the UConn women will need to treat this as another day at the office, as they found success against Harvard in their matchup last season, defeating them 2-0, a contest where Harvard came in as the No. 7 team in the country. Both teams recorded 12 shots that day, and while the scoreboard doesn’t reflect how close of a game it was, this was anyone’s game for the taking. Connecticut scored an early goal and didn’t do anything from there until the fourth quarter, meaning that The Crimson could have easily leveled the contest, as their aggressiveness and talent made it anyone’s game. 

This weekend will test the Huskies’ ability to compete at a high level, and this could be the start of something special. Harvard and Rutgers are as good as any team in the country, and if UConn wishes to compete for a Big East Championship, winning these two contests is a good start toward that lofty, yet attainable goal. 

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