Providence College and Boston University on tap for UConn field hockey
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 21:09
The UConn field hockey team will take on Providence College Friday night and travel to Boston University on Sunday afternoon. Both teams have had a successful start to the season: Providence has a record of 5-3 while Boston has a record of 6-3. The Huskies’ matchup against Providence will be their second conference game of the season. UConn’s first conference game against Rutgers ended in a big victory, but the team isn’t taking anything for granted.
“Each Big East team presents different challenges. Providence has been successful in breaking their opponents’ presses with good aerials and power out-letting,” Head Coach Nancy Stevens said.
“We are working on our pressing this week to counter Providence’s strength in this area,” Stevens said. They fast-break well, so we are also working to neutralize their counter attack.”
Providence’s forward player, Steph Guglielmo, has scored at least one point in six of their eight games this season, proving to be a threat for any challenging teams. But Coach Stevens has the upmost confidence in her defense.
“We play a helping defense, so we are not overly concerned about one player on the opposing team,” Stevens said.
Last year, UConn beat Providence 4-0, but this year’s game doesn’t seem like it will be so easy.
This week, Boston University’s Jess Maroney and Rachel Coll were named the American East Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week. Maroney leads American East goalkeepers in both goals-against average and save percentage, giving their team an intimidation factor.
“We always have a great deal of respect for senior goalkeepers, because they bring a lot of experience into the game. Our shots on goal will need to be of good quality to score. BU’s roster includes eight international players, so there will be a lot of talent on the field,” Stevens said. “Ella Gunson helped New Zealand reach the semi-finals of the 2012 Olympic Games and she has represented her country in 84 international matches. She will be a key player for BU on Sunday. That being said, we have a lot of confidence in our team. They play hard for each other. Every player on our team contributes to our success.”
Although Boston is a dominant force, UConn is prepared for the challenge. UConn and Syracuse remain the only unbeaten teams in the NCAA Division I after Syracuse’s big win against Princeton this weekend, yet the Huskies have a modest tone going into their weekend games.
“We always keep one eye on the teams that are doing well nationally,” Stevens said. “Our practice sessions must replicate game play and we always strive to practice at a high tempo. Nothing can truly replicate game tempo except game play, but we do our best to work hard during practice sessions.”
The Huskies’ tremendous success comes from working hard and never taking any team lightly. Providence and BU will have their hands full this weekend.