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STORRS, Conn. – The quest for a fifth NCAA title begins for the No. 6 UConn field hockey team on Saturday, when it plays No. 11 Boston College in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Syracuse, N.Y. Start time is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET).
The Huskies (20-1, 7-0 Big East) are coming off their fifth-straight Big East Tournament championship and 16th overall under head coach Nancy Stevens. They play the Eagles, who they beat 4-3 in overtime back on Oct. 30 in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
The first game on Saturday will be No. 3 Syracuse against No. 15 Harvard at 11:30 a.m. (ET) in J.S. Coyne Stadium. The winners from both first round games will play on Sunday in the second round at 2 p.m. (ET), with the winner going to the NCAA Final Four.
“We’re excited; we want to play good teams,” said Stevens. “Boston College will be a great rematch of the final game of the regular season, which went into overtime. If you’re a coach or an athlete, that makes it exciting.”
The last time the Huskies played the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Syracuse, N.Y. was in 2013, the year of UConn’s third-ever national championship.
Junior forward Charlotte Veitner enters the weekend just one point shy of tying Lauren Henderson’s all-time mark of 213 points – the most in program history. Veitner is already the all-time assists leader (48), as achieved earlier this season.
UConn is 10-1 in its last 11 NCAA Tournament games, including its back-to-back national titles in 2013 and 2014. In that time, the Huskies have played both Boston College (2-0) and Syracuse (1-1) twice in the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies are 31-12-1 all-time against the Eagles, 28-12-1 against the Orange, and 28-4-2 against the Crimson.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
No. 11 Boston College (10-9, 3-3 ACC) lost to eventual ACC champion Virginia in the first round of the ACC Tournament last Thursday, 6-3, in its most recent game. Prior to that, they lost to UConn in a nail-biting overtime game.
No. 3 Syracuse (14-3, 4-2 ACC) recently lost to Wake Forest in overtime, 4-3, in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Huskies lost to the Orange in the NCAA semifinals last season, following a win over Syracuse in the 2014 NCAA national championship.
No. 15 Harvard (12-5, 7-0 Ivy), the Ivy League champion, is 10-1 in its last 11 games – including a 3-2 win over No. 14 Princeton. The Huskies blanked the Crimson, 4-0, back on Sept. 11 in Storrs.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
All NCAA Tournament games this weekend can be streamed for free on Cuse.TV or followed on Syracuse’s Sidearm Stats, through the NCAA Gamecenter (link at top). Live Twitter updates will also be available on @UConnFHockey.