STORRS, Conn. – The No. 1 University of Connecticut field hockey team concludes its six-game homestand at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex when its hosts Villanova in its Big East opener on Saturday at noon. The Huskies will get on the road to face Yale on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Husky fans can keep up with all the action via the Gametracker and video links posted above. To keep up with the team on Twitter, follow @UConnFHockey.
Through nine games, UConn and Syracuse are the only Division I teams that remain undefeated. Nationally, the Huskies rank among the top-3 in nearly every category. Connecticut tops the national rankings in winning percentage (1.000), assists per game (4.89), goals per game (6.00), points per game (16.89), scoring average (6.00), scoring margin (5.44) and goals against average (0.43) and stands second in shutouts per game (0.56).
Individually, sophomore forward Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) ranks second nationally among statistical leaders in points per game (4.78) and goals per game (2.11). Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) leads the country in goals against average (0.46) and checks in at No. 5 in save percentage (.826). Senior midfielder Sophie Bowden (Somerset, England) is eighth in assists per game (0.78).
Veitner leads the Big East with 19 goals and 43 points, more than 20 points ahead of her nearest competitor, while topping the conference in seven categories. Bowden ranks first with seven assists while Middendorf, Veitner and freshman Amanda Collins (Binghamton, N.Y.) are tied for third with five assists. Upton checks in at No. 1 averaging 0.80 assists per game while Bowden is a close second (0.78). Klein holds the best goals against average in the conference.
Earlier this week, Veitner earned her fourth Big East Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 28 after she scored the game-winner over Stanford and tallied her fourth hat trick of the season along with an assist against California. Bowden had three goals and senior Roisin Upton (Limerick, Ireland) posted two goals and three assists on the weekend, which helped them make the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.
Saturday’s game will be the 33rd meeting between UConn (9-0) and Villanova (3-6) in a series that began in 1988, with the Huskies owning a 26-6 all-time series lead. In last year’s outing, Connecticut came away with a 4-0 victory, thanks to goals by Upton, Veitner and two tallies from junior Anna Middendorf (Bremen, Germany).
UConn has been triumphant in each of its 32 games against Yale (2-5), dating back to 1975. In last year’s meeting, six different Husky players scored in UConn’s 8-3 win, including senior Mckenzie Townsend (Harpursville, N.Y.), junior Olivia Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.) sophomore Kendall Youngblood (Milwaukee, Wis.), Middendorf and Veitner.
This season, the Connecticut has held each of its opponents to a scoreless first half and outscored them by a 27-to-5 margin in the second half. UConn is currently on a 23-game winning streak, dating back to the 2014 season.