Women’s lacrosse opens season against Fairfield


UConn defender Deryn Blaney brings up the ball during a game against Vanderbilt on April 16th, 2016 at the Sherman Family Complex. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s lacrosse team will open their season tomorrow against Fairfield University. Coached by Katie Woods, last season the Huskies were 12-5 and 6-1 in the Big East.

The UConn players to watch for this season are juniors Cassie Ekstrom and Grace Nolan. Both were named to the Pre-Season All Big East Team. Last season Ekstrom, a defender, led the team in caused turnovers and was named to the 2016 All-Big East Second Team. Nolan was the 2016 Big East Co-Attacker of the year and led the league in points per game last season with 3.53.

Under head coach Laura Field, the Stags were 9-9 last season and 4-4 in the MAAC. They lost their season opener against Holy Cross 11-8.

Fairfield’s Riley Hellstein is a player to watch for. The senior attacker led the team in goals last season with 39 and was second on the team in points with 50. She was chosen to the All-MAAC Second Team last season and was the MAAC Player of the Week the week of March 7, 2016.

Last time these two teams met, UConn won 18-8 with a stellar performance by Nolan who had six goals.

UConn added eight freshmen to their squad this season including six All-Americans. Having these freshmen will help the team overcome the loss of players such as Alexandra Crofts who was named to the All-Big East First Team last season as a senior and was a team captain. Another loss for the Huskies was senior Shannon Nee, a goaltender who was the first UConn goaltender to ever earn All-American Honors.

UConn added to their coaching staff last July with the hiring of Jenna Ross as an assistant coach. Ross served as an assistant lacrosse coach at Tufts University before coming to Connecticut. While at Tufts, the team advanced to the NCAA tournament, making it to the Sweet Sixteen: the furthest advancement in program history.

The season opener for the Huskies will be at 3 p.m. at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. 

Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.

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