Field hockey starts season 10-0 before loss to Boston College
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 23:10
The No. 2 UConn field hockey split a pair of games this weekend, winning 4-1 on the road against Big East rival Providence before falling to No. 9 Boston College 4-3 in double overtime at home for their first loss of the season.
Junior forward Chloe Hunnable’s hat trick against Providence propelled the Huskies to their 10th win of the season, which would maintain the team’s undefeated record heading into Sunday’s contest against Boston College.
The Huskies outshot the Friars 14-12 and took a 13-6 advantage in penalty corners. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield had five saves, and senior forward Marie Elena Bolles, sophomore midfielder Sophie Bowden and Hunnable would each add assists. Sophomore midfielder Mckenzie Townsend also netted her second goal of the season.
The team returned home to take on No. 9 Boston College on Sunday, a team that would hand the Huskies their first loss of the 2013 season.
“It was a great college matchup,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “You had two top ten teams battling, and it was fitting because both teams played well. We had some great opportunities in overtime to finish, and we got close, but then they put the winner in, so that was the deciding factor.”
The Eagles, after dominating time of possession and applying smothering defensive pressure early in the first half, got on the board first on a goal by Virgynia Muma in the 10th minute, with Muma tipping in a pass from midfielder Emily McCoy deep in the UConn circle.
UConn would answer in the 23rd minute after sophomore midfielder Sophie Bowden sent home a cross from senior forward Anne Jeute deep in the Eagles’ circle, beating goaltender Leah Settipane to the far post to tie the game at 1-1.
The Huskies would trade goals once again with the Eagles late in the first half, with Boston College midfielder and second team All-American Emma Plasteras scoring off of a 31st minute penalty corner only to be answered three minutes later by UConn’s Marie Elena Bolles, who scored off of her own rebound to move the score to 2-2 with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
“She was the focus point going in and we obviously didn’t do our job on her,” Stevens said of Plasteras.
“One thing we noticed with Boston College is that they can finish,” Stevens said. “If you give them opportunities, they have the ability to finish. And that’s to their credit.”
The Huskies came out swinging in the second half, taking a 3-2 lead in the 41st minute on a Roisin Upton penalty corner goal assisted by Jeute and junior midfielder Chrissy Davidson.
Boston College, however, would not relent, as the Eagles once again tied the game on a 45th minute goal from Plasteras, her second of the contest.
The score remained knotted at 3-3 through the final 25 minutes of regulation, sending the game to overtime. But after 15 minutes of extra time, the game was still stuck at three goals apiece, sending the game to a second seven-on-seven overtime period.
Midfielder Anne Jeute nearly put the game away for the Huskies three minutes into the second overtime, sending a shot sailing just over the crossbar.
The Eagles, however, would end the Huskies’ undefeated run on another goal from Plasteras – who had a hat trick – in the 80th minute, giving Boston College the 4-3 victory.
“When you play a top ten team they make you better, so the best coach is the game,” Stevens said. “We have one of the toughest schedules in the country. This is our fifth top ten team in 11 games. When you play a schedule like that I don’t think its really realistic to say you’re going to win all of your games, but you’re going to be in every game and hopefully you’re going to win more often than not.”
Despite the loss, Stevens remains undeterred heading into another tough pair of games later this week. The Huskies will take on No. 17 Louisville on Friday and Boston University on Sunday, both at home.
“We just made a decision to play one of the nation’s toughest schedules,” Stevens said. “And when you can go into overtime – and we’ve won two out of our three overtimes against top ten teams – then we have to be proud of that effort.”