COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Nov. 15, 2008) - The University of Connecticut women's field hockey team fell 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA Championship at the Univeristy of Maryland.
UConn ends the season with a 17-4 record while Duke advances to the NCAA quarterfinals on Sunday and is 15-5. Duke scored the lone goal of the second half for the win after the two teams exchanged first half goals.
Senior Lauren Aird (Harare, Zimbabwe) had the first shot of the half for the Huskies just seconds after the whistle blew to start play. Duke moved the offense to the UConn side of the field and less than 10 minutes into play Duke took a 1-0 lead on a penalty corner goal. Marian Dickenson served the ball into play for the Blue Devils. Brooke Patterson set up the shot for Lauren Miller who hit in her third goal of the year.
Just minutes later on its first penalty corner of the game, UConn tied the game up at one a-piece. Freshman Jill Kleeblad (Naarden, Holland) sent the ball into play, senior Meghan Wheeler (Canton, Mass.) set the ball up and Aird, on her second shot of the day, got the ball past the Duke goalie for her team leading 20th goal of the year.
Aird had two opportunities to give the Huskies the lead a little more than 20 minutes into the game. After a wide shot by Aird, sophomore Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) stripped the ball from a Duke defender and Aird got her second shot on goal.
During yet another UConn penalty corner, the Huskies got the ball in the goal, but the shot was too high keeping the score knotted at one. After staving off two Duke penalty corners at the end of the half, the Huskies entered half tied 1-1.
After stopping three-straight Duke penalty corners, the Blue Devils scored again at 55:32 for a 2-1 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Dickenson, who had a helper on the first Duke goal, served the ball in for the score on the second with help from Laura Suchoski.