STORRS, Conn. - For the third time in the last four seasons, the No. 3 University of Connecticut field hockey team will play in the National Semifinals after defeating No. 8 Stanford, 3-1, in an NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal game on Sunday afternoon at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex. The Huskies have won 12 straight games and improve to 18-2, while Stanford closes out its 2014 campaign with a 19-3 record.
Connecticut will play Albany on Friday, Nov. 21 after the Great Danes upset No. 2 Maryland in the Quarterfinals earlier on Sunday. The start time is set for 4:45 p.m.
UConn has now advanced to the semifinals in five of the last nine years and seven times under head coach Nancy Stevens. The Huskies now sport a 12-8 record in NCAA Quarterfinal meetings, including a streak of two in-a-row and now won six straight NCAA Tournament games dating back to their 2013 National Championship run."
Connecticut set the tone early, connecting for the first score of the game just 80 seconds in to regulation. Olivia Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) carried the ball past midfield and continued into the circle where she tossed a pass towards the far post where Casey Umstead (Sellersville, Pa.) was able to gather and chip a shot past Stanford keeper Dulcie Davies.
The Huskies capitalized in the waning minutes of the first half, earning three straight penalty corner attempts before cashing in after Veitner grabbed a rebound in front of the cage and slapped a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
Veitner continued her magical tournament with her fifth score in two games when she re-directed a shot from Upton on the near post on UConn's ninth penalty corner of the game. Stanford responded with a goal after converting a penalty but couldn't pull any closer.
"Our coaching staff has been together for 14 seasons," said Stevens. "It's part of the reason we're headed to our third semifinals in four years. Paul Caddy does a great job with our tactical game and Cheri Herr is great with our goalkeepers. It's a great team effort."
Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) made one save and helped stop three Cardinal penalty corner attempts en route to her 18th win of the season.
The Huskies had the first scoring chance of the second half when Upton took a stick-stop from Chrissy Davison (West Lawn, Pa.) on a penalty corner and flipped a high shot that was turned away with the pad by Davies.
The Huskies earned a total of nine penalty corners after earning just one against Stanford in the team's first meeting on Sept. 26.