STORRS, Conn. – The UConn field hockey team celebrated its 2016 season with the team banquet this past Saturday night at the Deanston House, as coaches, players and their families gathered to reflect on a highly successful campaign.
Dinner was served, conversation was enjoyed, and stories were shared as the Huskies honored a memorable season that included a Big East regular season title, Big East Tournament title and a fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA semifinals.
“It’s bittersweet. We (the seniors) knew this was coming, but at the same time, it marks the end of our careers,” said senior Anna Middendorf, a 2016 First Team All-American. “It’s also a fun celebration of what we achieved as a senior class.”
Six graduating seniors attended their final banquet as arguably the most accomplished class in the history of the program. Over four seasons, the Huskies won four Big East regular season titles, four Big East Tournament titles, reach four-straight NCAA semifinals and won two NCAA championships.
“Every team I played with was completely different; it’s a dynamic thing in sports. What I’ll remember about this team is that the season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it did end on a high note that I’m happy to retire on,” said Middendorf.
Head coach Nancy Stevens addressed the crowd prior to the start of dinner, thanking the players, coaches, staff and families for their dedication to the field hockey program.
Following dinner, Tom Smith – father of senior Darby Smith – spoke to all in attendance, sharing some of his fondest memories from the past four seasons.
Each senior got the chance to say her final words to the team and a highlight reel of moments from the 2016 season was displayed on a large projector to commemorate the accomplishments of the Huskies.
“It’s exciting that our time here is coming to a close, but it’s sad. We had a great four years; it’s over, but we don’t want it to be,” said senior Montana Fleming. “Most people don’t get to the Final Four once, but we were lucky enough to go four times and won two national titles.”