STORRS, Conn. – Head coach Nancy Stevens and the UConn field hockey team have announced the 2017 schedule, which includes seven non-conference games against 2016 NCAA Tournament programs – including Delaware, the reigning national champion.
Coming off a season where the Huskies reached their fourth-straight NCAA semifinals, they will play a challenging 17-game schedule beginning on Aug. 25 at home against perennially ranked Stanford.
Three of UConn’s first five games take place against teams that qualified for last season’s NCAA Tournament. Two highlighted matchups will be at Delaware on Sept. 24 and at Princeton on Oct. 8, as both teams reached the Final Four in 2016.
“Our 2017 schedule is packed with outstanding competition. We will play seven teams that reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament,” said Stevens. “Our team is looking forward to traveling to Delaware to play the national champions, as it will provide a good midseason test.”
UConn wastes no time entering the season, as both Stanford and Northwestern (Aug. 27) will visit the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex on opening weekend. The Wildcats were ranked No. 13 in the NFHCA Coaches Poll at the end of 2016.
In just the third game, UConn takes a trip to play Michigan on Sept. 3, another team that spent most of the season ranked in the top 10. Games against Pacific (Sept. 8) at home and Harvard (Sept. 10) on the road lead the Huskies into Big East play.
“Conference games always present a good challenge, as each team is focused on earning the conference’s automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament,” said Stevens.
On Sept. 15, the Huskies host Old Dominion in the conference-opener, with a game against Boston University waiting shortly after on Sept. 17. The Terriers were ranked No. 17 at the conclusion of last season.
Conference games against Temple and Providence surround the highly anticipated game against the Blue Hens. Following the meeting with Princeton, the Huskies travel to play Liberty on Oct. 14 – the team they beat to win the 2016 Big East Tournament Championship.
A home game against Boston College on Oct. 29 completes the regular season in what will be a rematch of last year’s NCAA First Round matchup in Syracuse, N.Y.
The Big East Tournament will take place from Nov. 3-5 in Providence, R.I., while the NCAA Tournament is scheduled for the weekends of Nov. 11-12 and 17-19.
“We return eight starting players and welcome a strong group of incoming freshmen that will be able to contribute from day one,” said Stevens.
UConn’s final spring exhibition game will be at home against Boston College on Saturday, April 22. The Huskies will then be off for the summer until preseason workouts in August.