The Vermont field hockey team returns home for a pair of games this weekend to open America East conference play against the last two teams to win league titles.
On Friday the Cats host two-time defending champ Stanford and then on Sunday UAlbany comes to town for the annual Rally Against Cancer Game. Both contests get underway at 3 p.m. and can be seen on AmericaEast.TV.
Vermont won both games last weekend to stretch its winning streak to five games – the longest win streak for the Cats since the 2007 season. On Saturday, Kate Hall’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory on the road at Dartmouth. Sunday afternoon, Molly Morris scored her first-career goal in the fourth quarter against Bryant to send UVM to consecutive win No. 5, 4-2 over the Bulldogs.
The Cats are a perfect 3-0 at home this season with wins over Holy Cross, Hofstra and Brown. In those games UVM is outscoring its opponents 7-3.
ON A ROLL
The Cats looks to make it six in a row on Friday which would be the longest win streak in program history. During the current five-game run Vermont has a plus-seven scoring margin and is averaging 2.6 goals per game. Seven players have scored goals and ten players have registered at least one point.
Vermont has scored 17 goals this season and have assists on 14 of them. The team’s 56 total points through eight games are the most since at least 2007 and three times this season UVM has reached double-digit points in a game.
First-year players Sophia Drees, Alina Gerke and Molly Morris have combined to scored seven goals so far this season. Both Gerke and Morris scored in Sunday’s win over Bryant while Drees ranks second on the team with eight total points.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
The two-time defending conference champion Stanford has played just three games so far this season and hasn’t played since a Sept. 6 win over Dartmouth. The Cardinal program was slated to be discontinued after last season but in May it was announced that the field hockey program along with 11 others would be able to continue. Despite that, the Cardinal were once again ranked nationally to start the season and return a large core of last season’s championship team. Stanford has played the first three games of the year without a goalie under first-year head coach Roz Ellis.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES
The Great Danes enter the weekend with a 3-5 overall record and are coming off a 4-1 loss to #1 Michigan last Saturday. Alison Smisdom leads the team with 15 points (6G, 3A) while three others have at least two goals this this season. Sheridan Messier has started the last two games in cage for UAlbany and has a 2.40 goals against average this season. The Danes were picked to finish third in the preseason poll.
Friday marks the fifth all-time meeting between UVM and Stanford. The Cardinal holds a 4-0 lead in the series and took a 3-0 decision last spring in New Jersey. Sunday will be the 29th all-time meeting with UAlbany and the Great Danes hold a commanding 23-5 mark in the series including 16 straight. The Cats have threatened that streak falling by just one goal in the last two meetings. UVM’s last win over UAlbany came in the 2008 season in Burlington.