The chill crisp in the air with autumn leaves falling gives fans a sense of excitement, knowing that winter sports are coming, but the UConn field hockey team is not done just yet. After a testing season for the Huskies, they hope to end their season on a high note as they face the Old Dominion Monarchs.
It’s been a black and white past between these two teams with the Monarchs taking home a majority of the wins between 1987-1995. The Huskies started seeing major success from 2014 to the present.
The last time that both UConn and Old Dominion faced each other was last year on Sept. 16, where Connecticut secured a 2-1 win in Norfolk, Virginia. At the time, the Huskies were sitting at No. 11 in the nation. The program scored first with a goal from forward Julia Bressler and the Huskies kept the score 1-0 with two and a half minutes left in regulation. The game was stretched into double overtime with both teams firing from both ends, but midfielder Aiyi Young put an end to the game six minutes in.
The Monarchs have had very similar records in the past, but UConn’s record this season is vastly different from previous seasons. The Huskies have their work cut out for them against a confident team in Old Dominion, who are on a nine game win streak going into this matchup. The key to winning this game for the Huskies is to bring some relentless defense by the net, an area that the program has seen success with throughout the season.
This game holds a great significance for this team, not only because it is the last of the season, but because it’s also senior day for the UConn field hockey program.
Starting off, we have No. 2, graduate student forward from Erdenheim, Pennsylvania, Julianna Kratz. Kratz came in this year as a transfer from Fairfield University and finished her career with the Stags as one of the program’s all-time leading scorers, tied for 11th all-time goals with 25 scored and 10th in points with 63. She’s definitely made herself known to Husky fans as she’s second on the team with six goals scored in 14 games played.
We move on to No. 3, senior midfielder from Windham, New Hampshire, Madison DiPietro. DiPietro has only played three games this season, but for the entirety of her career, she managed to notch one goal and three assists.
Next up is No. 6 back from Yorktown, New York, Erin Daly. In her four years with the Huskies, she’s played 943 minutes on the field and notched a 0.750 shot on goal percentage.
Now, let’s transition to No. 10 midfielder from Leesport, Pennsylvania, Belle Bressler. The Pennsylvania native is a graduate student at UConn, after spending four years at the University of Maryland. In her final season with the Terrapins, she totaled 12 points with three goals and six assists in the 23 games she played in. This year with the Huskies, she got to play with her sister, Julia Bressler, who scored three goals and two assists in 14 games.
Our next senior on the list is No. 11, midfielder McKenna Sergi from Greene, New York. Greene is in her fifth year at UConn and has definitely made the most of her time here. Throughout her career, she’s accumulated 14 goals and four assists over 122 shots.
Next is midfielder Morgan Kaufman from West Lawn, Pennsylvania. Known for backing her teammates up, she managed to grab 14 assists and four goals over her career with the Huskies.
And last, but not least, we have midfielder, No. 26, Aiyi Young. Over her time as a Husky, she has gotten two goals, nine assists and maintained a 0.700 shot on goal percentage.
This is the first time that Connecticut has not made it to the Big East Championship since 2010. Even with the thirteen year difference, you cannot deny the camaraderie that this young team possesses among one another. Husky fans can honor these seniors and watch the ceremony live from Nancy Stevens Field, with the game starting at 2 p.m. It can also be streamed live on FloSports.