STORRS, Conn. – The No. 3 University of Connecticut field hockey team is moving on in the NCAA Tournament after beating No. 11 Louisville, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon in a NCAA First Round matchup at George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex in Storrs. The Huskies are 21-0 in 2015 while the Cardinals conclude their campaign with a 13-7 record.
The Huskies are now 20-7 all-time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and has won nine of its last 11 contests in the first round. UConn has won nine straight NCAA Tournament contests and sport a stellar 38-22 mark in 27 trips to the national event.
UConn extended its winning streak to 35 games, dating back to 2014. During the run, the Huskies have outscored their opponents, 171-26, including 24 victories with at least four goals.
Connecticut registered the first penalty corner of the game, which resulted in a blazing shot from senior Roisin Upton (Limerick, Ireland) that was saved by Louisville’s defense. Upton, senior Mckenzie Townsend (Harpursville, N.Y.) and junior Anna Middendorf (Bremen, Germany) each attacked the net but their shots were saved by Louisville’s goalie Ayeisha McFerran.
Sophomore Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) tallied the first goal with 21:06 on the clock. Graduate student Pippa Lewis (Malvern, England) sliced the ball through the middle of the field to a sprinting Veitner. The German native dribbled down the right side before beating her defender and going one-on-one with the net-minder to score.
Back from halftime, a Cardinals' defender prevented a goal from going in by being on the line, thus givng the Huskies a penalty stroke opportunity. Sophomore Casey Umstead (Sellersville, Pa.) stepped up to take the shot. She successfully forced the goalie to the wrong side of the net and flicked the ball in for a 2-0 UConn lead. Umstead is perfect on penalty strokes this season, going 5-for-5.
With less than three minutes to go in the game, Lewis intercepted the ball from the Cardinals and moved out of traffic to the center of the circle. She pulled back and slammed a shot in the cage to give the Huskies their decisive 3-0 edge.
Redshirt-sophomore Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) came up big for the Huskies, making four saves in the cage to earn her 10th shutout of the season.
UConn doubled up on Louisville with a 14-7 overall shot advantage and edged out the Cardinals in penalty corners, 6-5.
Connecticut advances to play the winner of the Albany and Boston College contest on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. with a berth to the National Semifinals at stake.