Sept. 19, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut field hockey team, which is rated No. 1 nationally in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), will put its seven-game winning streak on the line on Friday evening when the team welcomes No. 16 New Hampshire to Storrs for a 7 p.m. showdown at the Sherman Family Complex.
Fans who attend Friday's game will receive a free UConn drawstring backpack. After Friday's contest, UConn will hit the road to take on Villanova on Sunday, September 23 in Philadelphia. The Wildcats are 4-4 on the season and lost their BIG EAST home opener last weekend.
UNH has also played a difficult schedule and has suffered close losses to No. 2 Syracuse, No. 25 UMass and Ohio State. Most recently, the Wildcats defeated No. 8 Northeastern, 3-2 in double overtime, on Sunday.
Hannah Richard leads the way for the Wildcats with 18 points while Meg Flatley and Kelly Joyce also have double-digit point totals this season.
The Huskies, who are ranked No. 5 in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association national poll, are led offensively by 2012 Preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Marie Elena Bolles. Bolles leads the team with seven goals and 18 points and is tied for second on the squad with four assists. 2011 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Chloe Hunnable has not disappointed in her sophomore season as she leads the team with five assists and is second with 13 points.
The UConn defense has truly been the identity of this team so far though. 2011 First Team All-America goalkeeper Sarah Mansfield leads the country with a .44 goals against average and her save percentage of .909 is also tops in the country. Mansfield and the Husky defense has allowed only three goals this season and comes into Friday's contest having held opponents scoreless for the last 146:20.
A Husky has been honored as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week each week this season. Alicia Angelini, Mansfield and Louisa Boddy have each taken home the honor this year. Boddy, the most recent honoree, notched a hat trick in UConn's league opener against Rutgers on Saturday in addition to anchoring a defensive unit that recorded a pair of shutout victories.