UConn blanks Duke for championship

The Connecticut Huskies won their third field hockey national championship with a 2-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, Va.

UConn (21-4) got all the offense it needed in the first half when Chloe Hunnable and Mckenzie Townsend both found the back of the cage.

Sarah Mansfield made five saves to earn the shutout victory over the fifth-ranked Blue Devils (17-7).

"The defense played absolutely amazing today," Mansfield said following UConn's fifth shutout in its last eight games. "I didn't have to do too much today."

UConn was the only school from outside the ACC to make the semifinals. The Huskies advanced to the final with a shootout victory over No. 3 North Carolina on Friday. Duke, which had been seeking the program's first national title, reached the championship game by knocking off top-ranked Maryland.

The title is the fourth-ranked Huskies' first in field hockey since 1985 but the first for coach Nancy Stevens, whose 572 career victories are the most in the sport.

"As an assistant [lacrosse] coach at Penn State, I was part of two national championships, but it's nice to also feel what it's like to win a national championship as a head coach," Stevens said. "At the end of the day, it's about the players, isn't it?"