Saturday will not only feature two of the nation's best teams, it will feature two of the country's top goaltenders.
Oct. 26, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The No. 4 University of Connecticut field hockey team will renew its rivalry with the No. 3 Syracuse Orange on Saturday afternoon in Syracuse. The two teams are tied atop the BIG EAST Conference standings and Saturday's game will decide the regular season championship. UConn, the defending BIG EAST Regular Season champs, enter the contest with a 16-1 overall record and a 5-0 mark in league action. The Orange are 15-1, 5-0.
The teams have combined to win the last five BIG EAST Regular Season crowns. UConn won the 2011 championship in dramatic fashion, netting an overtime goal to down the Orange in the second to last game of the 2011 regular season.
UConn and Syracuse have combined to win 15 of the last 18 BIG EAST Tournament titles, including eight straight. Connecticut has won 10 of the last 18 BIG EAST Tournament crowns.
The Huskies enter the contest on a 12-game BIG EAST regular-season winning streak with the last loss to a league foe in the regular season coming on October 30, 2010 at Syracuse.
The Orange are led by a balanced scoring attack, which features six different players with at least 20 points. Kelsey Millman leads the way with 10 goals and six assists while Lauren Brooks has also scored 10 goals to go along with four assists.
Syracuse's only loss this season came at UMass on October 11. The Huskies defeated the Minutewomen by a 2-0 count on October 3. Conversely, UConn's only loss came at the hands of No. 2 Princeton on October 21 and the Orange defeated the Tigers on September 23.
The Huskies sport a balanced attack of their own as five players have reached the double-digit point mark. UConn is led by Luisa Boddy's 33 points and Chloe Hunnable's 30. 2012 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Marie Elena Bolles has also been outstanding this year, scoring 11 goals and dishing six assists for 28 points en route to being named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week twice.
Saturday will also feature a matchup of two of the best goalies in the country. UConn's Sarah Mansfield has posted a 0.89 goals against average this season, which is second in the nation only to Leann Stiver's 0.74 that she has registered for Syracuse.