After a very successful week that saw the team jump out to a 2-1 start and outscore their opponents 37-8, the UConn women’s lacrosse team has a more daunting task ahead of them. This includes their first Big East matchup since their departure from the conference in 2013. The Huskies face the Albany Great Danes (2-1) on Thursday and the UMass Minutewomen (1-1) on Sunday, both at Morrone Stadium.
The Great Danes have had some successes early on this season, with back-to-back home victories against St. Bonaventure and Colgate. Their sole loss so far this year has come at the hands of then No. 13 Boston College.
No one player has been overpowering for Albany, with four different players earning at least 10 points on the season, with Kyla Zapolski (one of two leading scorers) having nine goals and zero assists. This is a well-rounded team with a large group of quality scorers on offense.
One statistic of note is Albany’s lack of free position goals. They’ve only scored six FP goals this season, while allowing 17 to opponents. If UConn should find themselves in a close situation, they should try to take advantage of this.
UMass has been solid in its first few games, making quick work of Boston University, then falling to No. 11 Boston College Tuesday. This should be a very interesting matchup on Sunday, since UConn is 0-9 for their last nine games against UMass. Every game in each of the last four years has been very competitive though, with last year’s score being 14-18.
The Minutewomen are led by Haley Connaughton, the team’s leader in points (nine), goals (five) and assists (four). In last year’s bout, she assisted four goals, three of which were to last year’s leading scorer Stephanie Croak.
The Huskies are led by points leader Lia Laprise (six goals, seven assists) and scoring leader Sydney Watson (11 goals, one assist). The Huskies have a lot of scoring depth, with eight players on the roster with at least three goals on the year. With a plethora of options on this team, they should be in for another exciting week of action.
In UConn’s sole loss to Hofstra, the team only assisted three of the team’s 11 goals, and had a well below average .367 shot percentage. If the Huskies hope to do well this week and end their winning drought to UMass, they should try to continue to move the ball more and take better shot opportunities like they have since that game.