STORRS, Conn. – The No. 1 UConn field hockey team will defend its home turf this weekend, as the team is set to host a pair of contests. The Huskies will continue their BIG EAST slate on Friday, Sept. 29 when they welcome Providence (6 p.m.), before entertaining nonconference foe Massachusetts on Sunday, Oct. 1 (1 p.m.).
Catching Up With UConn
The No. 1 Huskies (9-0, 2-0) extended their win streak to nine games, thanks to a pair of road victories. The Huskies notched their 19th-straight BIG EAST regular season win with a 4-1 victory at Temple, before blanking then-No.5 Delaware, 1-0, in an overtime thriller. Outscoring their opponents 5-1 on the week, the program now stands alone in Division I as the only team with an unblemished record.
Nine different players have scored for the Huskies so far this season, seven of whom have found the back of the cage multiple times this fall. Senior Charlotte Veitner is pacing the squad with 31 points and 13 goals, while sophomore Svea Boker is posting a team-high nine helpers. Goalkeeper Nina Klein is boasting a 0.85 goals against average, 24 saves and owns four shutouts in net.
Focusing on the Friars
Providence (6-3, 2-0) comes to Storrs riding a three-game win streak after notching a pair of wins last week. The Friars took down UC Davis, 5-2, on Sept. 17, before defeating Villanova, 4-1, on Sept. 22 to improve to 2-0 in BIG EAST action. Manon van Weezel is headlining the offense in points (9) and assists (5), while Megan Hamilton is tallying a team-high three goals. Goalkeeper Megan Guilbert is posting a 2.09 goals against average, a .672 save percentage and 39 saves in 2017.
The Minutemen own a 7-3 clip in 2017, after splitting a pair of decisions last week. Massachusetts suffered their first conference loss of the season at Saint Francis, 0-1, before bouncing back to take down Atlantic 10 foe Lock Haven, 2-1. The offensive is led by Sarah Hawkshaw’s 14 points and six goals, while Lucy Cooper paces the squad with four helpers. In the cage, goalkeeper Emily Hazard owns a 1.26 goals against average and 33 saves so far this fall.
No. 1 Across the Board
A weekend victory against the defending national champion on Sunday has solidified the UConn field hockey team's hold on the No. 1 ranking in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Coaches Poll, as announced on Sept. 26
The Huskies defeated then-No. 5 Delaware, 1-0, in an overtime thriller on Sunday to push their record on the season to 9-0, remaining the last unbeaten team in the nation. UConn accumulated 1,146 points and 44 first-place votes to remain at the top of the poll for the third straight week.
Head Coach Nancy Stevens has now led the UConn field hockey program to its fourth No. 1 ranking since taking over at the helm. Stevens and the Huskies last held the honor in 2016, after a 9-0 start to the season.
Additionally, UConn serves as No. 1 in the national RPI, after an impressive 9-0 start and 6-0 clip against top-20 opponents.
National Players of the Week
Senior Charlotte Veitner garnered back-to-back Longstreth/ NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 13 and Sept. 20, respectively. Veitner recorded consecutive 10-point (5g) and 15-point (6g, 3a) performances on her way to two NFHCA weekly selections. Additionally, classmate Casey Umstead was named to the NFHCA Honorable Mention on Sept. 27 and Sept. 3.
Statistically the Best
UConn has garnered a handful of top NCAA statistics, both individually and as a program. Senior Charlotte Veitner sits second in the nation with 3.44 points per game and third with 1.44 goals per game. Sophomore Svea Boker and junior Amanda Collins rank fifth and eighth in DI, boasting 1.00 and .89 assists per game, respectively.
UConn is currently riding a nine-game win streak, spanning from Aug. 25-Sept. 24. The Huskies remain the lone undefeated team in DI and are outscoring their opponents 39-6 during this time.
Defending the Wall
Goalkeeper Nina Klein and the Huskies held their opponents scoreless for 206-minutes to begin the season. During that time UConn was outscoring its opponents 11-0, after blanking then- No. 13 Stanford, 2-0, and No. 14 Northwestern, 7-0.
Klein now owns 29 career shutouts for second most in program history, trailing only Sarah Mansfield’s 33 (2013-2013).
Did You Know
Charlotte Veitner’s 97 career goals is just one shy of breaking UConn’s all-time goals record set by Lauren Henderson (2001-04). Veitner matched Henderson’s record on Sept. 24 with the game-winning goal against No. 5 Delaware. The senior currently holds the program’s top spot in points (247) and assists (55), claiming both distinctions during the 2016 season.
Queens of the BIG EAST
The Huskies are currently riding a 19-game regular season conference win streak, dating back to the 2013 national championship season. UConn has strung together five consecutive BIG EAST Tournament Championships dating back to 2012.
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.
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.