UConn field hockey beats UMass 4-1
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 00:09
The No. 3 UConn field hockey team squared off against the No. 7 UMass Minutewomen last night at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex, with UConn securing a 4-1 victory.
The Huskies maintained their undefeated record with the win, which moves them to 6-0 on the year.
2013 marks the third consecutive season the team has begun with six consecutive victories.
“Every coach wants to win every game, but I think you have to be really aware of how special it is to start out 6-0,” head coach Nancy Stevens said. “Everyone would like to win every game, but that’s really hard to do. Our first three games were close, two of them went to overtime, and we’ve played three teams in the top ten.
“We’ve challenged this group, and its one with a lot of talent. They’re capable of meeting the challenge and so far they have.”
Junior forward Anne Jeute struck first for the Huskies, netting an unassisted goal in the 10th minute of play to give UConn a 1-0 lead.
The lead swiftly moved to 2-0 after a penalty corner in the 32nd minute was sent home by sophomore midfielder Roisin Upton with assists from Olivia Bolles and Chrissy Davidson.
“Our players share the ball, and when you share the ball good things will happen,” Stevens said. “When you become one-dimensional, when you really count on one or two players to do most everything for you, then teams can have an answer.
“They can shut you down, they can match you up. But when everyone’s contributing it’s really hard.”
All cylinders were firing offensively for the Huskies in the first half, as the team outshot UMass 12-2 and took a 2-0 lead after 35 minutes of play. But the tide turned as the second half got underway.
UMass was given life midway through the second half in the form of back-to-back penalty corners within a six second span.
After missing the first corner attempt thanks to a key deflection by UConn sophomore defenseman Elizabeth Fudele, the Minutewomen capitalized on their second chance, with sophomore midfielder Brooke Sabia drilling a powerful hooking shot past UConn goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield to move the score to 2-1.
The momentum would soon shift back to favor the Huskies; however, a trio of yellow card penalties for UMass within a five minute span derailed the Minutewomen’s short-lived offensive energy.
UConn sophomore midfielder Mckenzie Townsend added a goal of her own in the 59th minute on an assist by Sophie Bowden.
Bowden then moved the Huskies’ lead to 4-1 in the 66th minute, scoring on an assist from Marie Elena Bolles in traffic just feet from the UMass net.
UConn will take its undefeated record on the road this weekend to open its slate of American Athletic Conference opponents, taking on Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J. noon Sunday, Sept. 22.