Women’s Lacrosse: LaPrise shines, defense holds strong in UConn’s second win

The UConn Women's Lacrosse beat Bryant University 15 - 8 Tuesday night in the Sherman Family Sports Complex. The Huskies were able to quickly capitalize on Bryant's mistakes and effectively generate opportunities; UConn consequently controlled the game. (Photo by Kevin Lindstrom/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s lacrosse team secured their second win of the season under the lights of the Sherman Family Sports Complex on Tuesday night, and Lia LaPrise led the way.

The freshman midfielder from Windsor, Connecticut, came up huge in the 15-8 win over Bryant, recording an eight-point game with three goals and five assists. Following up a six-point game in Saturday’s game, LaPrise has tripled her season point total from seven to 21 in just the last two games.

“I think my confidence has been really up lately,” LaPrise said. “It’s really nerve wracking being a freshman on the field, but I think you just have to take it with a grain of salt and give it the best you can and if you get your chance, go out there and have fun.”

LaPrise got the Huskies started early, as she was involved in their first three goals, assisting on two and scoring. She was also involved in the last three UConn goals, scoring two and assisting on one. LaPrise served as both the opener and the closer of the game on the offensive end. She was a major reason why the Huskies recorded a season-high in goals on Tuesday night with 15.

Head coach Katie Woods talked about how well she got her teammates involved with the five assists.

“I think she puts the ball into space, which allows the [players] to run onto it,” Woods said. “She has great connections with certain people, so I think that also helps and they read her really well.”

LaPrise is now the team leader in assists with 13, and nine of those have come in the past two games. Her 21 points now rank third on the team behind Olivia Miles and Sydney Watson.

UConn’s defense played an impressive game all night, forcing nine turnovers in the game. The defense held Bryant to just 17 shots on goal, which is the lowest by any of UConn’s opponents this season by far. It is no surprise that the defense also allowed a season low in goals with eight.

Nobody benefitted from the great defense more than goaltender Grace Beshlian, who had her best game of the season in terms of goals allowed.

“I think our defense went out and really killed it,” Beshlian said. “We stuck to our game plan. We wanted high ball pressure, lots of communication, and we really worked together. We had a lot of help slides, which really made it easy to make a lot of stops.”

The combination of the stingiest defense this UConn team has played along with the unprecedented offensive production facilitated by LaPrise, gave the Huskies their most convincing win and best performance of the season.

It’s been a tough season to this point for the Huskies, but if they can show up on both ends of the field like they did against Bryant, they should be in much better shape moving forward.


Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu .