The UConn women’s lacrosse team faced a tough defeat as well as an end to its three-game winning streak to No. 19 UMass on Saturday, losing 18-14.
In a post-game interview, coach Katie Woods said despite the result, she was still happy for the effort the girls put in until the very end.
“We kind of dug ourselves a little bit of a hole at the beginning and we were able to come back at it which was really good,” Woods said. “There were a couples of different players that we asked to step up in different ways, in terms of the hustle plays, and they did well.”
The Minutewomen scored four unassisted goals within the first 10 minutes:Tthe first coming from attacker Maddy Moloney (28:56); midfielder Stephanie Croke (28:24); midfielder Olivia Muscella (21:59) and attacker Kelly Marra (20:34).
Huskies’ (4-1) attacker Lia LaPrise did score after UMass’ second goal (23:46), however the Minutewomen were consistent and accurate with their shots on target and Woods called for UConn’s first timeout following the fourth conceded goal.
Woods said there wasn’t much change to her game plan despite being down 4-1 in 10 minutes.
“The team was so fired up for the game, it was almost like we kind of went too far with it,” she said. “[UMass] came in and we were just frantic out of the gates and not really staying homed in on just the basic pieces of our game on all sides.”
Following the timeout call, it became a pattern of goals between UConn and UMass: For every goal or two UMass scored, UConn also scored a goal or two. Attacker Stephanie Palmucci assisted attacker Olivia Miles for UConn’s second goal (18:52) and to midfielder Abby Vetsch for the third (12:36) before scoring herself with seven minutes left in the first half. LaPrise scored nearly a minute later to make the score 9-5 UMass.
Towards the final five minutes of the first half, the Huskies found their momentum until the very end, going from 10-5 down to 10-9 down.
In the second half there wasn’t much change, except for the fact that UMass was slowly widening its goal difference. While Vetsch and Miles were the main goal scorers for UConn in the second half, it wasn’t enough against the Minutewomen’s rapid goals.
Attacker Kelly Mara and midfielder Brinley Anderson tied for scoring two goals for the Minutewomen. Mara scored four minutes in, securing her hat trick, as well as in the final five minutes of the match. Anderson scored her only two goals of the match within the last 10 minutes (9:31 and 4:00), marking UMass’ 18th goal.
UMass outshot UConn 42-29, 30 of which were on target for UMass while the Huskies had 21. The Minutewomen’s draw control was also greater than UConn (22 and 12 respectively).
UConn dropped to third in The American, giving No. 5 Florida the second-place spot. UConn’s next game will be on the road against Columbia on Tuesday. Looking later down the week, UConn will return home to face CCSU on Saturday.