PHILADELPHIA – Freshman forward Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) scored twice in the final five minutes of regulation to help the No. 4 University of Connecticut field hockey team to a dramatic 4-3 victory over Temple in the Huskies’ regular season finale on Saturday at Geasy Field. With the win, UConn secured sole possession of the 2014 Big East Regular season title and improved to 14-2 (5-0 Big East).
In addition to earning the conference regular season crown, Connecticut will compete as the No. 1 seed in the Big East Championship set to begin on Nov. 7 in Providence R.I. The Huskies will take on the No. 4 seeded Friars in Friday’s Semifinal contest set for 3:30 p.m.
The Huskies capped off their eighth undefeated regular season in Big East play en route to the program’s 14th regular season crown. In total, UConn has won 27 Big East Championships. The squad has now won back-to-back regular season titles after earning a share of the 2013 trophy.
"Before the game our team made a commitment to bring our seniors a third regular season conference championship," said head coach Nancy Stevens. "It was a battle, but we were able to do just that. Both Temple and UConn brought their best effort today. It was a thrilling way to win a championship."
The Owls got on the scoreboard first, tallying on a penalty corner attempt at the 7:23 mark. The Huskies responded with a goal of their own seven minutes later when Casey Umstead (Selllersville, Pa.) grabbed the ball and dribbled in from the near post, finishing with a score into the bottom left corner of the net.
Temple tacked on a pair of goals late in the first half but UConn executed some late heroics as Sophie Bowden found the back of the net with 47 ticks remaining in the frame to cut the lead to two. The defensive battled continued early in the second half until Veitner drew Connecticut even with her team-best 11th goal of the year, firing a backhanded shot from five yards out that squeezed by the Temple backline.
With less than a minute and a half remaining in regulation, Veitner again found herself in space with the ball and was able to beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to give UConn the late lead.
Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) notched one save in the victory while her counterpart Lizzy Millen stopped eight Husky shots but allowed each of UConn’s four tallies. Mckenzie Townsend was credited with a defensive save.
Overall, the Huskies held a dominant 20-to-6 shot advantage and also doubled-up the Owls in penalty corner attempts, 6-3.
The Owls earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament and will take on Old Dominion next Friday at 1 p.m.
Please see below for complete championship info:
2014 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP, PRESENTED BY NEW YORK LIFE
All games streamed on the BIG EAST Digital Network
Nov. 7 - Semifinals – Lennon Family Field – Providence College (Providence, R.I.)
No. 2 Old Dominion vs. No. 3 Temple – 1 p.m.
No. 1 UConn vs. No. 4 Providence – 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 - Final – Lennon Family Field – Providence College (Providence, R.I.)
Semifinal winners – 1 p.m. (ET)