fieldhockey-d1 flag

Lori Riley | The Hartford Courant | September 3, 2018

Young, new look UConn field hockey team pushes home winning streak to 40 games

Relive UConn field hockey's 5th NCAA title

After capping a perfect season by winning the NCAA championship last year, the UConn field hockey team lost six starters, including an All-American goalkeeper.

"We're not used to being this inexperienced," coach Nancy Stevens said Sunday. "Over 60 goals walked out the door with graduation."

But the Huskies, ranked No. 1 in the country, are still winning.

Sunday, they rallied from a one-goal, first-half deficit to beat No. 5 Michigan 2-1 in a battle of two of last year's Final Four teams at the Sherman Family Sports Complex.

The young UConn team, which starts six freshmen and sophomores, is keeping multiple winning streaks alive. The Huskies have won 27 straight (after going 23-0 last year) and have a 40-game home winning streak.

"We have a completely different look this year," said midfielder Amanda Collins, one of three senior starters. "Which is exciting. But also our first scrimmage, we struggled a little. But we've morphed into a good team. If we can keep growing, it will be exciting to see what we can do in a season.

"We were down against Northwestern, too, but we came back and won it. That's actually what we discussed on the field. We've been here before. We know we can do it."

COMPLETE NFHCA Top 25

UConn (4-0) outshot Michigan 20-3, including 7-2 in the first half.

Still, Michigan (1-3) scored first. Emma Way made it 1-0 4:14 into the game, and UConn still trailed 1-0 at halftime.

"I think they had a really good defense," Collins said. "They were good at blocking us from getting into the circle. We had opportunities to finish, but it was just a matter of getting it into the goal cage. Their goalie had a phenomenal game."

MORE: No. 4 Maryland off to best start since 2013

The Huskies got onto the board with 23:10 left in the second half when Michigan goalkeeper Anna Spieker (11 saves) made a save and freshman Abby Gooderham took the rebound and put it in to tie the score.

UConn also had more penalty corners, a 9-1 advantage, with six in the second half.

The Huskies capitalized on a corner with 5:22 left, when sophomore Jessica Dembrowski scored off an assist from Gooderham.

"We had to come back from one-nil," Gooderham said. "It was good to get the first goal, and we came back from there, really.

"We just needed to connect a bit better. And their goalie was really good."

"It's a [national semifinals] team from last year, and their goalkeeper played great," Stevens said. "She's 6 feet, and she covers a lot of space. Let's give credit to her. She covered the cage well."

The Huskies have wins over No. 12 Northwestern and No. 15 Stanford, as well as a 5-0 win over Michigan State in their home opener Friday night.

"It's more fun," Stevens said of the season so far. "Last year, some of the games, it was just a matter of how many [goals] we were going to score. Now this year, we've had to work for all our victories. It was 4-2 against Northwestern, 3-0 against Stanford. Today was 2-1. Not that we didn't [work] last year, but we were scoring so many."

This article is written by Lori Riley from The Hartford Courant and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

College basketball: What is the Jimmy V Classic?

Here's what you need to know about the Jimmy V Classic, which is inspired by former North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano and his fight against cancer
READ MORE

Women's basketball: Stanford on top, UConn up to No. 2 in latest AP poll

Aside from Stanford retaining the No. 1 spot, there is plenty of movement in the last AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
READ MORE

NCAA women's basketball bracket, projected about 100 days from the selection show

Michelle Smith gives her predictions on how the NCAA Division I women's college basketball bracket will look on selection day, about 100 days before.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners