The UConn women’s field hockey team are looking to make a statement this weekend after their heartbreaking loss to Villanova. The Huskies have been in close battles all season long, and fans should expect nothing less this weekend.
On Friday, the Huskies will travel to Hamden, Connecticut, to take on the 4-5 Quinnipiac Wildcats, a matchup that is anyone’s for the taking. Which team that comes out on top depends on the version of Quinnipiac we see on Friday afternoon. Like UConn, their offense tends to stall out at times, in which they lean on their defense to keep them competitive. In some instances, we have seen games getting out of hand because of the Wildcats’ lack of defending, such as their Sept. 22 matchup against Villanova University, where they conceded four goals. We have also seen their defense maintain their competitiveness, no matter the situation. Take their last matchup against Sacred Heart as an example; while they lost 2-1, this was a challenging matchup from the opening kick to the final whistle. Both teams have the potential to come away victorious. The key to victory for this fixture is scoring first. The team that scores first puts immense pressure on their opponent’s offense to get going, and this pressure can be insurmountable, ultimately leading to their opponent’s demise.
This Sunday, Connecticut will travel up to Amherst, Massachussetts, for their highly anticipated matchup against the No. 19 team in the country, UMass. The Minutemen come into this matchup with a 7-5 record. When this team succeeds, it’s because they can fire on all cylinders. Their attacking and defending are consistent, as they have no trouble lighting up the scoreboard and keeping their opponents away from the cage. Interestingly enough, UMass faced the Wildcats earlier this year, narrowly pulling off a 2-1 victory. UMass comes into this fixture with an undeniable edge. There is no doubt that the Huskies have had a tough schedule up to this point, however, the Mintuemen’s schedule has been much more demanding. Last month, UMass played Northwestern, ranked No. 3 in the country, and lost 3-0. They also played No. 7 Rutgers, another formidable force. Just because their record isn’t the greatest doesn’t mean they won’t give UConn some trouble. This will be an intense battle.
It seems that every weekend, the Huskies find themselves fighting for their lives; this weekend is no different. This upcoming road trip is a prime opportunity for them to flip the script. There aren’t many more opportunities to do this, and UConn needs to capitalize.