By Bridget Curran
The top-ranked UConn Huskies field hockey team ended its perfect season with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over No. 9 Maryland on Sunday in the national championship game at Trager Stadium in Louisville, KY.
The Huskies set the tone early in the game, with UConn coming out to a 1-0 lead in the first half, scoring on their first shot of the game. UConn’s Charlotte Veitner put it in the net on a nice backhand shot after a Maryland turnover. It was her 33rd of the season.
The Terps weren’t giving up without a fight, pressuring UConn goalie, redshirt senior, Nina Klein multiple times in the first half, but they were unsuccessful for the first 35 minutes of play.
The Terps eventually found the back of the net in the 42nd minute. After a miscommunication in their own circle, they drew a penalty corner where they capitalized, as Kyle Greenwalt scored the equalizer.
With just nine minutes left in regulation, Veitner scored the most important goal of her career, scooping up a loose ball in the circle and flipping it in to put the Huskies up 2-1. Veitner ended the season with a team-high 34 goals and 12 assists, leading the team with 80 points.
After nine long minutes of back and forth play, the Husky defense, anchored by Klein, held up and the dream season was complete. This is the first UConn field hockey team to ever go undefeated.
This National Title is the Huskies third in five years—a testament to the great heights to which Nancy Stevens has brought this program.
The 2017 senior class completed the most successful stretch in the program’s history. The class includes Klein, Veitner, Karlie Heistand, Maureen Schott, and Casey Umstead. They finished their careers at UConn with an 87-6 record, as well as two national championships - the first coming when they were freshmen in 2014.