With UConn riding a hot three-game win streak, the Huskies came in as the underdog against No. 22 UMass on Sunday. With an 0-9 record in their last few games against the Minutewomen, this was undoubtedly a tough matchup. Despite this, the Huskies looked terrific and grabbed a 12-11 overtime victory against UMass at Morrone Stadium.
The Huskies started the game with a quick unassisted goal from Sydney Watson in just 40 seconds. After a goal from UMass to tie the game at one, Kate Shaffer helped the Huskies take the lead right back to make the score 2-1. With the Huskies and the Minutewomen going back and forth, the Minutewomen would finally break through and take a commanding 8-4 lead. After another goal from Watson to make the score 8-5, a scary incident happened on the field as Watson was struck in the head by the stick of Caitlyn Petro and was helped to the sidelines shortly before the end of the first half. While the Huskies would be down 8-5 going into the second half, this would be a turning point for UConn.
Despite Watson’s scary injury in the first half, she returned ready to go and went on an absolute tear in the second half. Watson would score two quick goals, and Shaffer would help the Huskies tie the game at eight. After another goal from Watson and an additional goal from Madelyn George, the Huskies took a 10-8 lead over the Minutewomen. With a score from Maddy Maloney, the Minutewomen cut their deficit to 10-9 before a Shaffer goal put the Huskies back up by two. Despite all the momentum on the Huskies’ side, the Minutewomen would not let this game get away from them and scored two goals in under five minutes to tie the game. Regardless of both teams’ effort to put the game away, this match would go to overtime after both the Huskies and Minutewomen both stepped up on defense.
After UMass took possession at the beginning of overtime, the Huskies played impeccably on defense and shut down the Minutewomen’s possession. After driving down the field and with just 1:36 on the clock, Watson scored the game-winning goal and earned UConn a 12-11 overtime upset win.
Watson was indeed the superstar in this game with six goals, bringing her season total to 21 on the season and her highest scoring game this season. Shaffer looked great as well, with three goals on the game, bringing her season total to 11 on the season. George would add two goals, and Abby Vetsch would add another goal to the Husky total. Lia LaPrise would get two assists on the game and bring her season total to 12 on the year. Landyn White stepped up for the Huskies on defense with 13 saves on the game and only allowed three goals in the second half.
UConn will look to repeat its fantastic performance against UMass once again next Saturday, March 13, this time on the road against the Minutewomen.