Field hockey falls 2-1 to UConn

Anne Boyd

In its first face-off in Big East conference play, the field hockey team was unable to pull through a win against the University of Connecticut, giving the Huskies their first win of conference play with a score of 2-1. Meanwhile the ‘Cats’ losing streak was extended to four in a row.

“The intensity was there the whole game,” Villanova head coach Joni Milhous said. “UConn knew that they were lucky to walk away with a win. We definitely outplayed them but could not finish due to our own inabilities. We just need to be hungrier in front of the goal.”

The ‘Cats came out intense, and right from the whistle got off a quick pass from senior Sarah Burdette to freshman Rory Rogers, who drove a sharp shot right past the Huskies goalie less that one minute into the game.

After that first goal, the play was back and forth until with about 20 minutes remaining UConn got the ball into the circle.

The referees stopped play, and less than one second after the whistles sounded, UConn shot the ball past senior goaltender Meghan Helwig.

The goal caused a bit of controversy but resulted in a corner shot for UConn instead of the point.

With the ball back in play, the Huskies kept it in the circle. Another corner was called about two minutes later.

Connecticut’s Lauren Christie took the ball off the corner hit and with a strong reverse hook, drove the ball just outside of Helwig’s dive and into the goal.

The score remained tied 1-1 at the end of the first half.

UConn started with the ball at the second half whistle.

The ‘Cats came out powerfully and for about 10 minutes, dominated control of the ball at its end of the field. The girls had several shots on goal; however, the Huskies defense prevented any scores.

After several minutes of strong defense, UConn gained control of the ball. With 23 minutes left in the game, UConn junior Mary Jo Malone got a breakaway and brought the score to 2-1.

For the remaining minutes of the game, the ‘Nova girls stayed strong and kept pushing the defense and firing shots, but to no avail.

Play continued evenly and included a breakaway or two by UConn freshman Becky Helwig, sister to Wildcat goalie Helwig.

Villanova had a burst of energy with about one minute left on the clock. The ‘Cats called a timeout with 30 seconds left to try to regroup, but it just wasn’t enough. The game ended with the Huskies keeping their lead and pulling out the win with a final score of 2-1.

“We’re not happy with the outcome but we finally played well and worked hard with great intensity,” Milhous said. “We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we created for ourselves.”

The UConn game brought Villanova’s record to 3-5. Included in that record is the ‘Cats’ 2-0 loss to West Chester on Sept. 18.

The girls will look to overcome their four-game losing streak Saturday at 1 p.m. when they face off against Rutgers for their second Big East game of the season.

“I expect for our team to have a great game,” Milhous said. “They are more focused and playing with much more intensity. I believe that if we work hard, play together and focus on finishing we will have a win.”