Mansfield becomes UConn field hockey's all-time wins leader
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 23:09
Anyone who has paid a modicum of attention to UConn field hockey knows that senior goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield is the cog that turns the Huskies’ defensive machine.
This weekend, Mansfield reached a career milestone, surpassing UConn field hockey great Danielle Vile’s all-time record of 58 career wins set between the 1996 and 1999 seasons. After earning back to back shutout wins against Fairfield and Lafayette on Friday and Sunday, respectively, Mansfield now owns a career record of 59 wins against 12 losses.
Mansfield’s two shutouts were the 20th and 21st of her tenure at UConn.
The Huskies, who now stand at 5-0 on the season, have put together several strong defensive performances this season. While it took until the fourth and fifth games of the year to keep their opponent out of the scoring column, UConn has allowed an average of just one goal per game through the first five contests of 2013.
“Sarah knows as well as anybody that it’s not just her,” field hockey head coach Nancy Stevens said, “She has been fortunate for the past four seasons to have a great defense in front of her. They limit the opponent’s shots, and when she saves the ball they clean it out of the defensive circle, so a lot of her success is due to her teammates. She appreciates that and understands that.”
Mansfield, who hails from Cornwall, Eng., has been the Huskies’ starter in the net from the moment she set foot on campus. In her four years between the pipes, the senior has led some of the finest teams in the program’s history, including the 2011 and 2012 squads which won the Big East Tournament and made strong NCAA Tournament runs.
“She is a four-year starter, which helps,” Stevens said. “You get the number of wins you need, but it’s unusual in goal because it’s unusual for a freshman to come in and start because it is such a high-pressure position, such a key position.”
Mansfield’s presence is sure to be sorely missed after this season, but the mark she has left on the UConn field hockey program has been indelible, and her records and statistics will speak for themselves long after she has left Storrs.
“She’s a two-time first team All-American, so we think that she is one of the best goalies if not the top goalie in the country,” Stevens said. “We couldn’t be happier for her.”