PROVIDENCE, R.I. â€“ Rutgers and No. 5 Connecticut share this weekâ€™s BIG EAST Conference field hockey weekly awards. Rutgersâ€™ Nicole Gentile was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, while UConnâ€™s Rayell Heistand was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. This is the second consecutive defensive honor for the Huskies and third overall this season.
Gentile scored four of Rutgersâ€™ six goals last week, including the gamewinner over West Chester with 26 seconds left and the go-ahead score against Villanova. The forward took eight shots, six on goal, en route to the four-goal week. The Scarlet Knights went 2-0 last week with a 4-2 win over BIG EAST foe Villanova Friday and a 2-1 victory over West Chester Sunday. The junior accounted for both of her teamâ€™s goals in the Sunday win.
Heistand, the Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, anchored a Husky defense that allowed only one goal in a 2-0 week, which included a 2-0 win over Providence Friday and a 2-1 double-overtime win over No. 12 Boston College Sunday. The junior back also scored the gamewinner against Boston College, converting a penalty stroke in double-overtime. Heistand has been the mainstay of a UConn defense that has allowed only four goals this season, resulting in a 0.43 goals-against average.
The BIG EAST enters its third week of conference play as Rutgers travels to Georgetown Friday for a noon start. No. 10 Louisville hosts No. 5 Connecticut at noon Saturday in a top-20 conference matchup, while No. 9 Syracuse travels to Providence for a 1 p.m. game. In other ranked-opponent action this week, Providence will host No. 19 Albany Sunday at 2 p.m.
BIG EAST WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Annika Bannon, Georgetown, Sr., B
Lindsey Conrad, Syracuse, Sr., F
Shannon DiStefano, Providence, Jr., GK
Leann Stiver, Syracuse, So., GK
Nicole Youman, Louisville, Sr., M