STORRS, Conn. – A late goal by sophomore Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) helped the No. 1 University of Connecticut field hockey team to a 3-2 victory over No. 9 Stanford on Friday at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex. The Huskies move to 8-0 while the Cardinal drops to 6-3.
For the third game in a row, the Huskies tallied their first goal after successfully converting a penalty corner. Veitner put the ball in play to senior Roisin Upton (Limerick, Ireland). Upton performed the stick-stop and pulled back for a hard slap towards the cage. While the ball was in the air, senior Sophie Bowden (Somerset, England) cut in from the right side and tipped the ball in off the end of her stick for her first goal of the season.
Connecticut tried to cushion its lead as junior Olivia Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) inserted the ball, which junior Anna Middendorf (Bremen, Germany) fired into a crowded lane but was denied by Stanford’s defense. Middendorf quickly attempted to find the back of the net but the Cardinal’s Sarah Helgeson came up with the defensive save. Three minutes later, Upton got a shot off from the top of the circle but once again Stanford managed to get the defensive save, thanks to Katie Keyser.
After 30:37 of play, Veitner smacked the ball towards the cage but was held off by Stanford's goalkeeper Dulcie Davis. Bowden was in the right place at the right time, catching the rebound off the net-minder's shin and clipping it in to give UConn a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Stanford came out firing in the second half, putting three shots on goal but quick reflexes by UConn’s redshirt sophomore goalie Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) and a defensive save by Middendorf kept the Cardinal off the board. The Huskies responded with their own barrage of shots but couldn’t get the ball in the net.
The Cardinal brought the score to 2-1 after Helgeson set up the penalty corner and got the ball to Maddie Secco on the crease, who stepped back for Jessica Chisholm to send the ball into UConn’s goal. Stanford capitalized on another penalty corner with 66:13 on the clock as Helgeson and Secco helped Caroline Beaudoin knot the score at 2-2.
With just under two minutes to go, Veitner dribbled around Stanford’s defenders and flicked the ball past the goalkeeper for her 16th goal of the season and the decisive game-winner.
The Huskies limited Stanford to a single shot in the first half while making the Cardinal their eighth opponent to be held scoreless in the first 35 minutes.
Connecticut totaled 18 shots and eight corners, only allowing Stanford four corners and seven shots. Klein made three saves in goal for the Huskies.
UConn is back in action on Sunday when it welcomes California for a noon battle in Storrs.