Field Hockey: UConn, BC take over Sweeney Field, end 12-game Husky winning streak

Field Hockey: UConn, BC take over Sweeney Field, end 12-game Husky winning streak

By Jason Richland

The look on Whitney Shean’s face told the story Saturday afternoon. Battered from a physical game, she bore a look of frustration. Her hair, soaked with rain, hung limp, just like her field hockey team.

It was bound to happen eventually. The Huskies broke their 12-game winning streak, and started a new one: a two-game losing streak, at home.

Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the University of Connecticut broke the streak and Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Boston College started the new one.

“We are a better team than what we showed,” head coach Cheryl Murtagh said. “It’s not who we played, it’s how we played. We didn’t execute.”

The Huskies gave up a 3-0 first half lead to UConn before senior Lauren Edelmeier potted her eighth goal of the season off a penalty corner to cut into UConn’s lead, making it 3-1 at halftime. Shean narrowed the gap with a tally in the second half, but NU fell short.

UConn outshot NU 12-2.

“The UConn game was more disappointing than the BC game,” Murtagh said. “We didn’t come out strong as a team, emotionally, physically or skills-wise. We dug ourselves a hole.”

Against Boston College, the Eagles staked a 1-0 lead in the first half on a penalty corner and 2-0 in the second on a penalty stroke over the right arm of the NU freshman netminder Colleen Duffy.

Shean cut the lead to one on a deflection in the second half, but again the Huskies failed to come back.

“I respect the teams we’ve played, but I think we should’ve beaten them,” Murtagh said. “We had the ball in the attack areas more. I feel like we possessed it but we aren’t putting enough pressure on goalkeepers.”

The Huskies were outshot by BC 8-5.

Now Northeastern has to rebound against the seventh-ranked team in the nation, Old Dominion. ODU comes to Sweeney Field for a 2:30 p.m. tilt Friday. The Monarchs boast the nation’s assists leader, Caroline Nichols, and two of the top-10 scorers in the nation, Janelle Engle and Dana Senenig.

Both Northeastern and ODU are undefeated in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). They are the only two undefeated teams remaining. The winner will hold the advantage in hosting the CAA tournament in November.

“It’s a big game,” Murtagh said. “I look at what we need to do to prepare for this. We need to respect them, but not too much. We know we can compete with them.”

Recently, sophomore Ashley Webber has disappeared from the score sheets. She was injured for a pair of games, but has failed to score since Sept. 25 against Towson.

“We are the type of team where everyone has to play well. We can’t afford to have Whitney Shean or Jay Quinn always carrying the ball for us,” Murtagh said. “[Webber] will come along. She is a good player and she will help us.”

The past two losses give the ODU game even more importance. If the Huskies can’t win the conference and hope to gain an at-large, they will have to improve in the national rankings. Only eight at-large bids are granted and a loss to Old Dominion could knock the Huskies out of consideration.

“In past years, conference play really wouldn’t help us,” Murtagh said. “It’s going to help us now. Every game is going to give us something. Our conference is well-respected and it’s all about how we finish.”

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