PROVIDENCE, R.I. - BIG EAST field hockey continues to be among the best in the nation with a consistent trio listed in the Kookaburra/NFHCA National Coaches Poll for four straight weeks. All three broke the top 10 this week. Connecticut remains top among the conference teams, climbing to No. 5. Syracuse slipped one spot to No. 9, while Louisville advanced to No. 10.
In fifth, the Huskies tallied 795 points with a 6-1 record this season. UConn moved up in the rankings after going 2-0 last week, including a 4-0 victory over then-No. 14 Drexel Sept. 19. The Huskies lead the BIG EAST with four shutouts and a 0.43 team GAA. They have a national-high of 0.57 shutouts per game.
Slotted ninth, Syracuse collected 634 points with a 5-3 mark for the 2010 campaign. The Orange went 1-1 last week, winning its first BIG EAST contest of the season 5-1 against Rutgers Sept. 18. No. 4 Princeton edged passed SU 1-0 Sept. 19. Princeton entered the game leading the nation in goals per game, but the Orange defense kept the Tigers scoreless for 68:50. Syracuse has a scoring average of 2.66 and a GAA of 1.21.
Louisville totaled 518 points to earn the 10th position, going 6-2 overall this season. The Cardinals went 2-0 last week, cracking the top 10 for the first time this year with a 6-1 BIG EAST Conference-opening win over Georgetown Sept. 17 and a 7-1 victory over Radford Sept. 19. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 33-11 with 12 different players registering goals. UofL leads the conference with a 3.8 scoring average and 4.12 goals scored per game.
Villanova is the only other BIG EAST team to receive votes in this week's poll. This is the fourth time the Wildcats have received votes, collecting seven points this week.
The BIG EAST enters its second week of conference play as Villanova travels to Rutgers Sept. 24 for a 4 p.m. start, while Connecticut hosts Providence at 7 p.m. There are two top 20 matchups this week with one occurring within BIG EAST action as No. 9 Syracuse hosts No. 10 Louisville Sept. 25. In nonconference play, No. 5 Connecticut travels to No. 12 Boston College Sept. 26.