Field hockey plays two at home after first loss
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 00:10
The No. 2 UConn field hockey team continues its homestand tonight, taking on Big East rival No. 15 Louisville at the George J. Sherman Family Sports complex.
The Huskies (10-1) dropped two places in the most recent National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association poll released on Oct. 8 – falling from No. 2 to No. 4 – after losing their first game of the season 4-3 in overtime to No. 9 Boston College on Oct. 6.
A bright spot from the weekend was when UConn junior forward Chloe Hunnable was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week for the fifth time in her career. Hunnable finished with a hat trick and an assist against Providence on Oct. 5, and currently leads the team in goals with 11 and points with 25.
“Our team will look to build on the positives from this past weekend,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “We earned our third conference win and played a great game against Boston College. Two of our goals were disallowed by the umpires for no obvious reason, which was very frustrating. That being said, good teams must be resilient and rise above all challenges.”
UConn’s resilience is sure to be tested tonight against the Cardinals (10-2), a team that brings an undefeated conference record and a six-game winning streak to Storrs. Louisville’s last loss came on Sept. 14, and the team is flying high offensively, averaging four goals per game over its last six contests.
The Cardinals have a 2-2 record against ranked opponents this season, with wins against No. 17 Temple and No. 20 Old Dominion and losses to No. 7 Virginia and No. 16 Michigan.
“They are solid in all phases of the game,” Stevens said regarding the Cardinals. “Corner execution will be a deciding factor for both teams. In-game adjustments will be important, as both teams are capable of showing different looks in presses, outlets and defensive corner schemes.”
The Huskies follow up Friday’s game with another at home on Sunday against regional rival Boston University (7-4). The Terriers, who compete in the Patriot League, gave No. 9 Boston College a close game on Sept. 13 before falling to the Eagles in a tight 1-0 matchup.
“Boston University always plays us close, and it has been a strong regional rivalry for our program,” Stevens said. “Their roster includes seven international players who will contribute to the high level play on Sunday.”
Although UConn’s undefeated run has come to an end, the Huskies’ winning drive remains undeterred, with special attention still being paid to conference matchups – the pipeline to the Big East Tournament.
“Every team wants to win every game. I feel the pressure is the same whether you are undefeated or not,” Stevens said. “We do our best to approach each game as a one game season. It stands alone. Only four teams qualify for the conference tournament, so each conference win has special importance.”
The Huskies will square off against No. 14 Louisville at 6 p.m. tonight and Boston University on Sunday at 2 p.m.