After a devastating sweep at the hands of Denver, the UConn Huskies were looking to rebound and stay competitive in the Big East, where they stood at second place. With their last away matchup of the regular season, the Huskies split their two-game matchup against the Wildcats to advance to 9-5 on the season.
Game 1: UConn 14, Villanova 7
Game one of UConn’s weekend matchup truly put their talent on display and indeed showed what the team is capable of. While the Wildcats showed signs of life early in the game, it’s pretty hard to stop Grace Coon and Sydney Watson when they are on fire throughout the game. Watson tallied six goals on the game with an assist to help lead the Huskies to victory on Friday. Coon was essential to the Huskies’ scoring barrage on the Wildcats with another six goals in the game. UConn looked almost unguardable as they outscored Villanova 6-2 in the second half and 14-7 overall. The Huskies’ impressive victory put immense pressure on Villanova to respond in the second and final game of the weekend matchup.
Game 2: Villanova 13, UConn 12 (OT)
In game two of the weekend matchup between UConn and Villanova, the Wildcats came to play and looked much better than they had in their previous matchup. However, this was not the case at the start of the first half. The Huskies were determined to win and looked great as they took an 8-3 lead with 11:49 left in the game. With a three-point lead at the end of the first half and a 9-6 score in favor of UConn, the Huskies had all the momentum needed to win the game. Despite this, Villanova simply had more in them in the second half as they outscored the Huskies 6-3. With the game on the line, Katie Comerford scored for the Wildcats with just 34 seconds left to tie, and allowed the game to go to overtime. Villanova was able to take this momentum into overtime as they scored the game-winning goal on a Brittany Bruno goal just a minute and 34 seconds into OT.
Although the outcome was not in their favor, players such as Coon showed up for the Huskies with a team-leading four goals on the game and an assist. Stephanie Palmucci was notable for the team as she scored three goals on the day with an assist. Lia LaPrise was superb, with two goals and two assists on the day for the team. After her impressive performance in game one against Villanova, Watson was only able to score one goal for the Huskies as she proved to be the difference-maker in the loss.
With a split in the weekend matchup versus Villanova, the Huskies will return home in Storrs to play Georgetown in their regular-season finale series. With Georgetown tied with UConn for second place in the Big East, it will be important for the Huskies to win this series as they conclude a historic season.