“Fatigue Weekend” for field hockey team
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 01:10
Head coach Robin Balducci described this weekend as “Fatigue Weekend” for the UNH field hockey team.
“It’s that time of the year where you hit the wall. Fatigue is at its highest, and after coaching a long time, this is always the time of year where we have to survive the weekend,” Balducci said.
The Wildcats will face two America East opponents this weekend, with America East newcomer UMass-Lowell on Friday and Vermont on Sunday. The River Hawks hold a 2-14 record on the season while the Catamounts currently sit at 0-16. UNH is 2-0 in America East play this season with wins over Maine and Albany.
“This is a tough weekend: exams, weather changes, people start to get sick,” Balducci said. “This weekend is a real risk. … We’ve got focus points and things we’re trying to do, we need to stick to that. Lowell is tough. They score goals, they’re very athletic, and it’s not an easy game by any means.”
UNH is coming off a two-win weekend, which saw the Wildcats shutout both of their opponents, Albany and Bucknell, 3-0. The shutouts were the first of the year for goalkeeper Carlie Tarbell, who was honored as America East Defensive player of the week. Tarbell has played every minute in goal this season and holds a goals against average of 2.10 on the season.
Meg Flatley leads the team in points (11g, 3a) with 25, while Hannah Richard (7 goals) and Megan Bozek (6g, 2a) are tied for second with 14 points apiece. Tarbell leads America East in save percentage (.833) and goals against average (0.93).
With the team being hampered by a few injuries, Balducci emphasized how important it was to have a deep bench.
“[Freshman] Aggie Sutherland has been logging a ton of minutes for us, so she’s a classic example of someone we need to get some rest. We have another freshman, Jackie Hozza, who has really come on in the last three or four games. … She’ll be able to come in and get some quality minutes.
With a record of 9-6, the Wildcats are a win away from their fifth straight double-digit win season, a streak that hasn’t happened since 1983-87. After starting the season 0-3, UNH has won nine of their past 12 games, including a 2-2 record versus ranked teams during that span.
“In terms of our progression, I feel like our defense hasn’t started to hit their stride,” Balducci said. “We’re close to running on all cylinders. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but we’re close.”