NORFOLK, Va. – The No. 2 University of Connecticut field hockey team opens play in the 2015 Big East Championship on Friday, Nov. 6 when it takes on No. 20 Old Dominion at 2 p.m. at the L.R. Sports Complex in a tournament semifinal game.
UConn (18-0, 5-0 Big East) earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed after clinching its 15th Big East regular season title on Oct. 23 with a 8-0 victory over Providence. The Huskies have won 14 Big East Tournaments, including a streak of three-straight. Last season, the Huskies bested Temple, 4-1, in the championship game, with sophomore Casey Umstead (Sellersville, Pa.), junior Darby Smith (Sussex, N.J.) and senior Mckenzie Townsend (Harpursville, N.Y.) each finding the back of the net once.
The Huskies trail in the all-time series against Lady Monarchs, 24-13, in a series that dates back to 1979. The two teams last met on Oct. 17 when UConn came away with a 1-0 victory over then-ranked No. 11 ODU, behind a game-winner from freshman Amelia Iacobucci (Malvern, Pa.) at the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex in Storrs.
Earlier this week, nine members of the program were recognized by the Big East, including Defensive Player of the Year Roisin Upton (Limerick, Ireland), Offensive Player of the Year Charlotte Veitner (Dusseldorf, Germany) and Co-Freshman of the Year Amelia Iacobucci. The Connecticut coaching staff was selected as the conference’s Coaching Staff of the Year for the ninth time under head coach Nancy Stevens.
After tallying its ninth undefeated regular season in league play, UConn has won 26 of its last 28 conference games, dating back to the 2011 season.
Through 18 games, UConn is one of the only two Division I teams that remain undefeated. Nationally, the Huskies check in at No. 1 in all but a pair of categories. Connecticut tops the national rankings in winning percentage (1.000), assists per game (4.67), goals/game (6.22), points/game (17.11), scoring average (6.22), scoring margin (5.89), save percentage (.878), goals against average (0.33) and shutouts/game (0.72).
Veitner leads the nation with 4.78 points/game and 1.89 goals/game. She also ranks third in assists/game (1.00). Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Nina Klein (Topton, Pa.) has been stellar in the net, allowing just six goals in over 1,232 minutes of play. Her remarkable 0.28 goals against average and .884 save percentage are the best marks in the country. Upton ranks fifth nationally in points/game (2.71), goals/game (1.00) and ninth in assists/game (0.71).
UConn is currently on a program-best 32-game winning streak, dating back to the 2014 season. During the run, the Huskies have outscored its opponents, 157-20, including 22 victories with at least four goals.