STORRS, Conn. – The No. 4 UConn field hockey team will open up the 2017 season with a pair of home games this weekend, welcoming opponents No. 13 Stanford and No.14 Northwestern to the Sherman Family Complex. The Huskies will kick off the new season against the Cardinals on Friday, August 25 at 1:00 p.m., before clashing with the Wildcats on Sunday, Aug. 27 in a 1:00 p.m. tilt.
On Friday Aug. 25 through Sunday, Aug. 27, the Huskies will host the JDH Invitational as part of opening weekend. The JDH Invitational features two other programs that will make the trip to Storrs for a full weekend of field hockey- the Stanford Cardinals and Northwestern Wildcats. The two visiting teams will battle against each other in a neutral site game on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 1:00 p.m.
A Year Ago
UConn turned in its fourth straight 20-win season in 2016, boasting a 22-2 record that landed the Huskies a spot in the NCAA Final Four.
The squad features 15 returners, including First Team All-American Charlotte Veitner and Third Team All-American Casey Umstead. While Veitner returns as the team's leading scorer in points (71), goals (27) and assists (17), the Huskies also welcome back goalkeeper Nina Klein who posted up an impressive 1.22 goals against average and six shutouts last fall.
Additionally, senior midfielder and 2016 All-Big East Second Team selection Karlie Heistand will
look to build off of her career-best junior campaign.
For an unparalleled eighth straight season, the University of Connecticut field hockey team was picked to finish first in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll, while four players were tabbed to the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
UConn has strung together five consecutive BIG EAST Tournament Championships dating back to 2012. Since 2012, UConn is 28-2 in BIG EAST play, entering 2017 on an 18-game conference win streak following last season’s 7-0 mark.
The Huskies return two of their leading scorers in Veitner and Umstead, who were selected as the BIG EAST Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Klein and sophomore Barbara van den Hoogen received All-BIG EAST honors as well.
The Cardinals care coming of a 14-6 campaign and a trip to the NCAA Regionals. Sara Helgeson and Jessica Welch will return as Standford’s top scorers, as the two forwards posted 12 points apiece in 2016, tied for second best on the team. Goalkeeper Kelsey Bing is back for her second year and will look to improve on her 1.17 goals against average and 14-6 record.
Notes on Northwestern
The Wildcats finished 2016 with a 13-8 record and will open up the new season against Stanford (8.26) before battling against the Huskies (8.27). Key returners for Northwestern are 2016 second leading goal scorer, senior Pascale Massey (13g) and 2016 All-Big Ten First Team selection senior Sophia Miller.