The UConn field hockey team had their work cut out for them this weekend in their final road trip of the regular season, this time against two top-10 teams.
On Friday afternoon, Connecticut traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia to face a conference rival, the Liberty Flames. This season, the Flames sit at the top of the Big East and are No. 6 in the nation.
Coming into this game, the Huskies hoped to take home a win, both as a confidence builder following two tough weekends and to snap the Flames’ undefeated mark in the Big East. Unfortunately for them, they did not get the outcome they wanted. Less than 2 minutes into the match, the Flames scored a goal from a penalty corner attempt.
The Huskies did well to keep the score 1-0 going into the half due to their relentless defense. Hoping to add to the scoreboard, Connecticut notched a few shots on goal, but their efforts were not rewarded.
In the fourth quarter, the Flames solidified their lead with a pair of penalty corner goals, leaving the score at 3-0. UConn had four shots in total throughout the game from Sanne Stout, Belle Bressler, Jasmijn Damman and McKenna Sergi. Freshman goaltender Natalie McKenna made two saves in the 3-0 loss.
After the Liberty game, the Huskies traveled to Durham, North Carolina to face the nationally ranked No. 3 Duke Blue Devils for their last road game of the season. The Blue Devils scored first from a penalty stroke towards the end of the first period. The score remained 1-0 going into the break, but during the second frame, it was a battle in the midfield. The lone shot on goal came from forward Julia Bressler.
Tensions were high in the second half of the game. The winning goal from the Blue Devils came in the third quarter from a penalty corner. The Huskies fought as hard as they could but to no avail as Bressler led the offense with three shots and Julianna Kratz, Sol Simone and Sergi each tried one of their own.
Connecticut’s defense was carried by sophomore goaltenders, McKenna and Gabby Raichle. McKenna made six saves and Raichle made one in her season debut.
Though this has been a disappointing year, the Huskies will return to Storrs on Friday to play Old Dominion, trying to break a five-game losing streak. At this game, the Huskies will also honor the seniors and all their hard work this season. Huskies fans can view this season finale on FloSports or live at George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.