Lacrosse: Showdown in Philly as UConn takes on Temple

Kelsey Catalano attacks the net during UConn's 13-8 victory over Villanova at the Sherman Family Sportsplex on March 26, 2016. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s lacrosse team travels down to Philadelphia to take on the Temple Owls in a matchup between two of the best in the Big East on Wednesday. Faceoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Geasey Field.

The Huskies (9-2, 3-0 Big East) currently sit at second in conference standings while Temple (9-3, 1-1 Big East) is just behind in third place. In a tight conference, senior goalkeeper Shannon Nee knows that every game is huge from here on out.

“There are really six teams competing for four spots,” said Nee. “We don't have to remain perfect but ideally we want to be the two or three seed. This is the strongest Temple team they’ve had in a while, with heavy leadership from their senior class. We just need to stay focused and composed and just take it one game at a time.”

UConn hits the road again for this Temple game, and comes back for an 11 a.m. faceoff against Vanderbilt on Saturday. With games in short succession and trips to Florida and Maryland still looming before the season ends, one could make the case that this team will run out of gas.

“It’s a quick turnaround and the traveling is pretty draining. However, we take measures to keep our bodies healthy,” said Nee. “Our coaches and strength coaches have been giving us recovery time. Mentally, we have been making sure that we are getting plenty of sleep and rest. There’s a tough two weeks ahead of us so we’ll see how we feel at the end of this traveling period.”

Senior Kate Finkelston and sophomore Grace Nolan will lead the UConn offense. Finkelston (42 points) and Nolan (41 points) are at the top of the leaderboard in the Big East in almost every individual offensive category.

Nee will once again spearhead the Huskies’ defense from net. The senior owns the best save percentage in the Big East at .524 and the second most saves per game with 9.91.

On the other side of the field, the Owls’ offense is led by seniors Rachel Schwaab and Megan Tiernan. The two have 35 and 33 points respectively.

Going into Wednesday’s game, the Huskies know they should focus on their own game rather than what Temple throws at them.

“We have to be better with possessing the ball and not turning it over so much,” said Nee. “Right now we just have to get back to just playing and having fun. We are so technical in everything we do. We just have to remember to play, have fun with it and that not everything has to be perfect.”


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu.