Nov. 19, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut field hockey team will travel to warmer climates for the NCAA Division I National Semifinals, which will take place Friday at 4:45pm on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Connecticut defeated the Michigan State Spartans, 3-1, to advance to the program's 11th Final Four and improve to 31-22 all-time in NCAA contests. The team will look to win its third national championship this weekend.
The Huskies will seek revenge against No. 3 North Carolina, who claimed the lone meeting between the two squads earlier this season by a score of 2-1. The winner advances to the National Title game on Sunday at 4pm to face the winner of No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 5 Duke, preceding the UConn game on Friday with a 2pm start.
Leading UConn in the statistics department have been Chloe Hunnable, Marie Elena Bolles, Anna Jeute, and Roisin Upton. Hunnable also finds herself in the midst of her best season in Husky uniform. The junior forward leads the UConn offense with 22 goals and five assists for 49 total points so far this fall. Bolles, the Mideast Region Player of the Year ranks second on the team in scoring with 16 goals and 13 assists. Jeute has played a big role in the Huskies' NCAA Tournament run, tallying goals in both games that included the overtime game-winner against Boston College. Upton is enjoying a breakout sophomore campaign that includes six multi-point outings. She boasts seven game-winning goals for UConn this season, more than any other player on the team.
Sarah Mansfield has been stellar in goal for the Huskies this season. . Mansfield boasts a mere 1.19 goals against average and a .761 save percentage this season. Since stepping foot on Storrs campus, Mansfield has played in every possible game of her career. In 89 total games she has maintained a 1.14 career goals against average and a .767 save percentage. Her 73 lifetime victories in Husky uniform set the school record for keeper wins. Additionally, she holds set the program milestone with 29 career shutouts.
About the Meeting:
Friday's contest will feature the second meeting between the Huskies and the Tar Heels this season. Back in the end of October the two squared off, ironically enough, in Norfolk, Virginia. North Carolina claimed the meeting by a score of 2-1, with Upton recording the lone goal for UConn. UNC holds the upper hand in the all-time series, going 5-2 against the Huskies and 3-0 in all NCAA Tournament meetings.
UConn, The Avengers:
The Huskies have only dropped four decisions this fall, but the squad has rallied for victory when facing these teams for a second time this season. UConn suffered a 5-0 loss to Old Dominion in the regular season but received a goal from Chloe Hunnable to down the Lady Monarchs in overtime, 1-0, and claim the BIG EAST Title. The Huskies had also dropped a heartbreaking overtime loss to Boston College before returning the favor on Anne Jeute's overtime goal in the NCAA First Round game. Suffice it to say, the trend has been that the Huskies have avenged previous losses when the stakes are high and certainly hope to continue the streak against North Carolina.
The Tar Heels:
No. 3 North Carolina dispatched Wake Forest by a score of 5-2 to advance to the Final Four for its fifth consecutive year. A perennial field hockey powerhouse, the Tar Heels boast an overall record of 18-5.
UNC possesses its own player of the year in Emily Wold and also placed six players on the All-Region roster. Wold, a sophomore midfielder from Freehold, N.J., leads the nation in assists with 23 and is second on the UNC team in scoring with 35 points this season. In addition to her assists total, she has six goals, two of them game-winners.