STORRS, Conn. – The No. 2 UConn field hockey team will entertain Pacific at home (6 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 8, before heading to Cambridge, Mass. for a Sunday clash against No. 18 Harvard (1 p.m.).
Head Coach Nancy Stevens and her squad will face their fourth top-15 opponent in five games.
Catching Up With UConn
The Huskies, 3-0, are coming off a hard fought, 2-1, win at No. 11 Michigan on Sept. 3, in their first road tilt of the season. Senior back Casey Umstead notched both goals in the victory to record her team-best third and fourth goals, respectively, of the season. Freshman back Margot van Hecking Colenbrander picked up the helper for her fifth point of 2017.
Six different players have scored for the Huskies this season, half of whom have found the back of the cage multiple times this fall. Umstead is pacing the squad with nine points and four goals, while her one assist matches a team high. Goalkeeper Nina Klein is boasting a 0.43 goals against average, 11 saves and owns two shutouts in net.
Testing the Tigers
Pacific enters the week 1-2 after dropping its last two decisions. Despite beginning the season with a 4-0 victory against Michigan State, the Tiger then went on to drop a pair of games to No. 5 Syracuse and No. 20 Harvard, 3-0 and 5-3, respectively. Emma Leach and Kriekie van Wky are headlining the offense with five points apiece, while van Wky’s two goals lead the squad. In net, goalkeeper Marlise van Tonder is recording a 2.67 goals against average and a .661 save percentage.
The Crimson own a 2-1 record after splitting a pair of decisions over the weekend. As part of a three-game road stint, Harvard topped Pacific 5-3, before suffering its first loss of the season in a 2-1 double overtime loss at No. 13 Stanford. Three Crimson players are notching a team-high five points and two goals apiece, while Ellie Cookson is pacing the team with two helpers. Goalkeeper Olivia Startup, 2-0, owns the majority of decisions in the cage and is posting a 1.50 goals against average and one shutout.
UConn is currently riding a three-game win streak, spanning from Aug. 25-Sept. 3. The Huskies remain one of seven undefeated teams in Division I and have garnered all three wins against top-15 opponents.
Defending the Wall
Goalkeeper Nina Klein and the Huskies held their opponents scoreless for 206-minutes to begin the season. During their shutout span, UConn was outscoring their opponents 11-0.
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 winning 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.