Through the eyes of women’s lacrosse head coach Katie Woods, this team is going to pick up right where it left off last season. Where they left off was an appearance in the Big East Championship to cap off an 11-7 record and the team’s third-straight conference playoff appearance. The appearance in the championship game was the first in program history. To reach that game, the Huskies beat Georgetown in the semi-finals, another first in program history.
“This class came in with a specific goal in mind. They want to leave the program in a better place,” said Woods. “Last season was a big step.”
The Huskies return 26 players from last season’s team, including their top three goal scorers, seniors Katherine Finkelston and Carly Palmucci and sophomore Grace Nolan.
For Woods and her coaching staff, a big returning class presents new challenges.
“It’s always great to have returners. They help the underclassmen find their way, help them learn how we do things,” said Woods. “The challenge is to be better than we were last year. So everyday we’re working to improve. We bring them out of their comfort zone in practice.”
The team voted seniors Alexandra Crofts, Alyson Fazio, Lauren Kwasnowski, and Shannon Nee as captains for this year. When speaking of her captains, Woods had nothing but support.
“These four have strong leadership qualities. They all come from different backgrounds. They all have different stories,” Woods said. “When you blend them together, it forms a really strong core.”
The season opens with Quinnipiac University on Wednesday. QU finished 2-14 last season and graduated two of their top three scorers, yet none of that seems to be important to this UConn team.
“It doesn’t really matter who we play. For us, we’re just excited to get out there,” said Woods. “It’s been a great preseason. We’re ready to go out there, to put on that UConn jersey…we can’t wait.”
Face-off between the Bobcats and Huskies will take place at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.
Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.