March 1, 2014
HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Connecticut field hockey team celebrated an exceptional 2013 campaign with a trip to the State Capitol in Hartford on Friday afternoon to meet Governor Dannel Malloy. The trip commemorated the Huskies Division I Field Hockey National Championship.
UConn president Susan Herbst, Athletic Director Warde Manuel and Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Adminstrator Deb Corum accompanied the Huskies on the trip. When the team arrived, they were introduced to Gail Bysiewicz-Garber, who is UConn's Director of Governmental Relations. As the team awaited Governor Malloy's arrival, Mrs. Bysiewicz-Garber provided information about the history of the building and pointed out the various architectural styles and design elements in the capitol.
When Governor Malloy arrived, he greeted the Huskies in the hallway before welcoming them in to see his office. The Governor spoke with the team for about twenty-five minutes, asking about the season and sorting out where all the players hailed from. In response to questions about painted scenes from the American Revolution hanging around his office, the Governor explained that the images were originally wallpaper strips that had been saved from an old house on the Hartford area and posted on wood backing for preservation. The scenes depicted such notable events as the Battle of Weehawken and Cornwallis' Surrender at Yorktown.
The Governor posed for a picture with the team at his desk, allowing National Player of the Year and Honda Award Winner Marie Elena Bolles to sit in the chair. The senior captain acquiesced with great enthusiasm and nearly signed a bill or two into law. UConn also presented Governor Malloy with a UConn Athletics shirt to wear when he works out, a signed poster and his favorite flavor of ice cream from the Dairy Bar.
Before leaving the capitol, the Huskies received a short tour around the building. The team was able to see the House of Representatives and the Senate rooms and marveled at the bronze Victorian Gothic Statue of Genius. The statue's large Roman toes were meant to symbolize her power and influence. As such, Coach Nancy Stevens suggested the team touch her to for good luck in the following season.
The visit honored UConn's superb 2013 season, as the Huskies won the Big East regular season title, the Big East Championship, and the National Championship in the fall. The squad finished with a 21-4 record en route to the program's third national championship but first since 1985. Five Huskies were named All-Americans and Marie Elena Bolles earned National Player of the Year recognition. Nancy Stevens was named National Coach of the Year for the first time in her career.
The National Champion Huskies were also honored at the UConn Women's Basketball Senior Night game against Rutgers on March 3. A sold out crowd at Gampel Pavilion gave a standing ovation to the Huskies at center court.