Field hockey starts stretch of away games
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 00:10
The No. 2 UConn field hockey team will take on Georgetown and American this weekend to start a series of four away games as they approach the end of the regular season.
“We have no control of our conference schedule, as those games are assigned by the conference office. Of course, we would like to play all our games at home, but good teams need to be ‘road warriors’ and play well on the road,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “There are positives about traveling for road games. We are able to keep the team together. Hotels are much quieter than college dorms. The meals are served at optimal times and the food is excellent. Traveling also allows teams to spend time together and bond as a group.”
On Friday, UConn will play Georgetown in its fourth conference match up. The Hoyas have struggled this season, as they are 2-11 thus far and 0-4 in the Big East.
“Georgetown is trying to build a competitive program. We respect every team we play,” Stevens said. “Even if we dominate play and outshoot an opponent, that is never a guarantee that you will score a lot of goals.”
Despite Georgetown’s record, the Huskies are taking this game as an opportunity to enhance their stick skills and the team’s ability to score.
“We have been emphasizing the importance of getting more from attacking red zone penetrations. Another point of emphasis has been to put more shots on goal,” Stevens said. “Shots that go over the goal or wide of the goal are turnovers and a wasted opportunities.”
The Huskies have matched up well against the Hoyas in past seasons. In 2012 the UConn beat Georgetown 4-1, while in 2011 they dominated the Hoyas 10-0.
On Sunday, the Huskies will take on American University. The Eagles have been a solid and stable team so far this season. They have defeated several dominant teams such as Boston University, Holy Cross and Lafayette. American will be a challenge for the Huskies this weekend. Stevens and the team recognize their abilities and are ready to take on the challenge.
“American University has an outstanding team with lots of talented players,” Stevens said. “We scheduled this non-conference game because we need good competition to make us better. They have a number of strong seniors who will bring talent and experience to the match. We match up well where they are strongest. One key will be the style of play they chose to use against us. We have seen several games in which they’ve changed tactics from playing very direct with long passes to playing more of a ball control passing style. We will be ready for both.”
The Huskies have a good mindset going into this weekend. They will use these opportunities to play a mixture of teams to enhance their skills and overall ability to play consecutive games. The Huskies look to keep up the team’s momentum and continue to play their best field hockey to close out the season.
“Looking at our results against two top 20 teams this past weekend, our team is playing their best field hockey of the season,” Stevens said. “We just need to keep pushing the tempo and challenging our opponents to run with us. Most teams find this [speed kills] a difficult task.”