Field Hockey Downed by No. 3 UConn on the Road, 6-2
STORRS, Conn. – The No. 22 Old Dominion field hockey team (5-3, 1-1 BIG EAST) fell to reigning BIG EAST Champion No. 3 UConn (8-1, 2-0 BIG EAST), 6-2 on the road on Friday afternoon.
"Connecticut played much better than us today," head coach Andrew Griffiths said after the game."We made some critical mistakes at key times, and overall we have to be tougher and better."
After a quiet first quarter of play, the Huskies kicked their offensive attack up a notch. The UConn offense peppered Monarch goalkeeper Cam MacGillivray, ripping five shots her way within a three-minute timeframe, but she turned aside each shot to keep the game scoreless.
UConn eventually got one passed the sophomore, as Maddy Wray beat MacGillivray to open the game’s scoring in the 24th minute. Four minutes later, Abby Gooderham struck one into the net to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. Both goals were assisted by freshman Sophie Hamilton. In total, UConn had 11 shots and eight corners in its second-quarter barrage.
At the halftime intermission, UConn held a 13-3 shot advantage over ODU. MacGillivray was forced to make nine saves, which already surpassed her season-high save mark of six in one game this season.
The Monarchs had a penalty corner opportunity seven minutes out of the break, where senior Rebecca Birch and sophomore Riley Taylor took back-to-back shots, but UConn goalkeeper Cheyanne Sprecher managed to stop both attempts.
In the 39th minute of action, the Huskies added another goal to their ledger, this one coming off the stick of Claire Jadewerth on a penalty corner opportunity, giving UConn a 3-0 lead.
The Monarchs would bounce back however, as senior Erin Huffman netted her third goal of the season to put ODU on the board in the 41st minute. Less than a minute later, ODU struck again with a goal off the stick from Taylor to cut the Monarch deficit to just one.
The Huskies would give themselves some breathing room again, as senior Svea Boker scored with just thirteen seconds left in the third quarter to give her team a two-goal advantage.
UConn would go on to add two more goals in the game’s final frame to cruise to the 6-2 victory.
MacGillivray collected a career-high 11 saves in the effort. Taylor scored a goal on five shots, all of which were on target, while Huffman’s goal came on her only shot of the day. Senior Alexandria Brewer earned an assist on both ODU goals, while Marlee McClendon earned her team-high fifth assist.
The Monarchs’ final tallies included nine shots, eight on goal, and four penalty corners. UConn ended the game with 23 shots, 17 on goal, and 12 corners. The win extends the Huskies’ regular season win streak in conference play to 34.
"It took some time for us to adjust on the field tactically, but we hung in there and had good momentum at 3-2," Griffiths shared. "We made a mistake on our press and they scored just before the end of the third quarter and we couldn't find a way to bounce back after that. Our aim will be to raise our level of play and consistency for next week, and it will be good to play back on our home turf."
The Monarchs will return home after a five-game road stretch to take on Georgetown in another BIG EAST showdown. The game will take place on Friday, October 4 at 5:00 p.m. at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.