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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 1 seeded and top-ranked UConn field hockey team makes its 15th-overall and fifth-consecutive Final Four debut on Friday, November 17 when the Huskies take on No. 4 seeded North Carolina at Trager Stadium at the University of Louisville. The tilt is slated to begin at 2 p.m. (ET). The game will be shown live on NCAALive on NCAA.com.
No stranger to the Final Four, Head Coach Nancy Stevens has one message for her team as they prepare for the NCAA Semifinal Game- ‘play our game.’
“The focus is on us,” said Stevens. “The focus is on what makes us special. The great thing is that everyone is healthy right now and if you can go into a game with a full group of healthy players you have a good chance to win. We match up so well with Carolina so the focus has to be on what makes us work, what makes us special.”
The Huskies and Tar Heels combine for 10 National Championships and feature two of the most prestigious head coaches in the history of the sport. Together, Stevens (660) and Karen Shelton (646) own 1,306 victories, as they rank the first and second, respectively, in NCAA history in career wins. The two teams have meet in the NCAA semifinals twice in the past four years as the squads are even at 1-1 heading into Friday’s match up
Big Ten foes No. 2 seeded Michigan and Maryland will face off in Friday’s other semifinal game set to begin at 4 p.m. (ET), following the conclusion of the UConn and North Carolina contest.
The winners of Friday's games will advance to the NCAA National Championship Game on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. (ET), also at Trager Field.
Get your tickets for the NCAA Field Hockey Championship HERE.
— UConn Field Hockey (@UConnFHockey) November 16, 2017
Catching Up With UConn
UConn (21-0) punched its ticket to a fifth-straight Final Four after taking down No. 6 Penn State 4-3 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Senior Charlotte Veitner led the way with three points (1g, 1a) while four different Huskies scored in the teams’ 4-3 victory. The tilt marked the ninth time the nation’s leading offense scored four or more goals this season.
No. 1 Across the Board
Connecticut entered the 2017 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship as the No. 1 overall seed after completing an unbeaten regular season that also puts the Huskies at the top of the final ranking for the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Coaches Poll on Nov. 7. Throughout the year, the Huskies claimed the No. 1 ranking for nine straight weeks.
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 distinction in 2016, after a 9-0 start to the season.
Statistically the Best
Nationally, The Huskies rank at the top in nine different NCAA statistical categories. UConn ranks first in goals per game (4.67), assists per game (4.52), points per game (13.86), scoring average (4.63), goals against average (0.61) and scoring margin (3.97). In addition, the Huskies rank second in shutouts per game (.57) and fourth in save percentage (0.803) and penalty corners per game (8.71).
Senior Charlotte Veitner is boasting an NCAA-leading 3.72 points per game and 1.56 goals per game. Junior Amanda Collins and senior Casey Umstead rank third and fourth in the nation in assists per game posting .95 and .89, respectively. Sophomore Svea Boker is notching 0.75 assists per game to sit seventh in Division I.
Seniors Charlotte Veitner and Casey Umstead of the No. 1 UConn field hockey team were tabbed the BIG EAST Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, on November 2. The duo headlined a group of six total UConn players that earned all-conference honors.
Redshirt-senior Nina Klein and junior Amanda Collins joined Veitner and Umstead as BIG EAST First Team selections. Senior Karlie Heistand and freshman Margot van Hecking Colenbrander garnered Second Team accolades for their performances this fall.
National Players of the Week
Senior Charlotte Veitner has earned Longstreth/ NFHCA Division I Offensive Player of the Week honors three times this season. The senior was tabbed the Player of the Week on Oct. 10, Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. Additionally, classmate Casey Umstead pegged NFHCA Honorable Mention on Nov. 1, Sept. 27 and Sept. 3.
UConn is in the midst of the programs’ longest win streak of 21 games, spanning from Aug. 25-Nov. 12. The Huskies are the only undefeated team in DI and are outscoring their opponents 94-11.
Defending the Wall
Goalkeeper Nina Klein and the Huskies held their opponents scoreless for 206-minutes to begin the season. During that time, UConn outscored its opponents 9-0, after blanking then- No. 13 Stanford, 2-0, and No. 14 Northwestern, 7-0.
Did You Know...?
Forward Charlotte Veitner is now UConn's all-time goals, assists and points leader. After claiming the top spot in points (293) and assists (63) in 2016, Veitner completed the offensive trifecta with her record-breaking goal at Villanova on Oct. 6. The senior now owns 115 career tallies, becoming just the 12th player in DI history to eclipse the 100-goal mark.
Goalkeeper Nina Klein owns the program record for most wins and shutouts (37) by a goalkeeper. The redshirt-senior has notched 85 career wins in net- surpassing All-American and national champion Sarah Mansfield.
Queens of the BIG EAST
The Huskies are currently riding a 24-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.
A Senior Class to Remember
The 2017 senior class has had one of the most memorable careers in UConn field hockey history. Over the past four years, this senior class has put together an impressive 85-6 record to date and is on pace to finish their careers as the most successful class in program history. Additionally, their .932 winning percentage ranks first all-time in program history. As freshmen they contributed to the Huskies 2014 national championship run, helping the program capture its fourth national title.