COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Connecticut took an early lead less than four minutes into the game and didn't look back, defeating Albany 1-0 in the second of two semifinals games played at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Stadium on Friday night. UConn advances to play Syracuse in the title game set for Sunday at 1 p.m.Connecticut (19-2) returns to the title game for the sixth time in program history after raising banners in 1981, 1985 and 2013. It marks the second time the team has reached the championship game under head coach Nancy Stevens.
The Huskies have now won 13 games in a row and an impressive seven consecutive NCAA Tournament contests dating back to the 2013 national championship run. Overall, Connecticut owns a 36-22 (.621) mark in the national tournament and has won 23 of 40 tournament games since Stevens arrived to the Storrs campus prior to the 1990 season.
UConn got off to a hot start again, taking a 1-0 lead just 3:16 into the contest after Chrissy Davidson collected a bouncing ball in the middle of the circle and cracked a shot on goal that popped up into the air and allowed Chloe Hunnable a chance to tap it in for her 10th score of the year. For Davidson, the assist marked her 25th during the past two seasons after dishing out 12 helpers in 2013.
The Husky defense was impressive in the opening half, thwarting nine Great Dane shots, including four saves from redshirt-freshman Nina Klein. Albany threatened with 7:30 remaining in the opening stanza, putting a shot on goal and slapping the rebound towards net but Olivia Bolles cut to the net and cleared the ball off the line for a defensive save.
Hunnable nearly put the game on ice with just over seven minutes to go when she took a pass from Sophie Bowden and blasted a shot that clanged off the post.
Klein was excellent in the cage, turning away five Great Dane shots en route to her 13th consecutive win.
The Huskies and Orange have met on the pitch 39 times with UConn holding a 27-11-1 all-time series edge. The two squads last met in the championship game of the 2012 Big East Tournament which the Huskies emerged with a dramatic 4-3 win courtesy of a goal from Hunnable in the game's final minute.