In a season that ended prematurely by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huskies were looking like a top team in the conference and an NCAA tournament threat. They were off to their best start since 2016 with a 5-2 record, complete with revenge wins over Fairfield, UNH, and Columbia. Their only losses came at the hands of two teams that finished the year in the top 20 in the country: James Madison and UMass.
Sophomore Lia Laprise led the team in points this year, with 40 total in just seven games played. She finished with 19 goals and 21 assists. She was ranked high in many national statistics, such as assists per game (fifth), total assists (seventh), points per game (ninth) and total points (16th).
Junior Sydney Watson lived up to her preseason all-conference nod, building off of a strong sophomore season with another big year. Watson not only led the team in goals with 27, but she also tied the program record for the most goals in a single game with eight against UMass Lowell. That same day, she set the record for most draw controls in a game with 14. She finished the year nationally ranked 18th in goals per game and 12th in draw controls per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Julia Ozimek and Alyssa Conklin shined, earning 14 and 10 caused turnovers, respectively. Ozimek finished the year ranked 12th in the nation in caused turnovers per game.
In goal for the Huskies were senior Grace Beshlian and sophomore Landyn White, who accumulated 36 and 34 saves, respectively. Beshlian started six of the seven games for the Huskies, but both her and White received an equal amount of playing time. They combined for a .490 save percentage, which ranked 17th in the country and improved the team defensively.
The Huskies gave up 74 goals this season (10.6 per game), which was a much lower average per game than last year (14.7). What’s more, the team moved from a goal differential of -70 in 2019 to +43 in 2020. With key returning players such as Laprise, Watson and Ozimek, the team looks to be ready for another strong campaign in 2021.
While no conference games were played this season, overall records could be used to size up how UConn may have done in their last year in the American Athletic Conference. The table has virtually flipped, as the Huskies went from second-to-last to second in the conference in a year, trailing No. 6 Florida only by half a game. As one of the beat writers for this team, I am disappointed we weren’t able to see this team shine during conference play this season.
Despite the loss of a senior day game, the team still found a way to honor their seniors before quarantine began. With the Huskies all together, the seniors were presented flowers and had other players as stand-in “parents” in a memorable ceremony.
Jonathan Synott is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.