On Wednesday, the No. 23 UConn women’s lacrosse squad journeyed across the Connecticut River and over to Fairfield University for a midday clash. After a back and forth thriller, the Huskies came out on top, winning by a score of 12-10.
Huskies’ Preseason All American senior Sydney Watson demonstrated why she deserves that title right from the jump, netting a quick solo goal in the first four minutes of action. Watson maneuvered from the baseline to the center to get the score, demonstrating her craftiness early.
The Fairfield Stags weren’t intimidated though, with Rylee Harrell and Elizabeth Talluto combining for a pair of goals to take the lead. UConn junior Kyra Place responded with her own goal on a free possession just a moment later to wrap up the first quarter, tying things at 2-2.
Fairfield’s Amanda Kozak got her third score on the season to regain the advantage just four minutes into the second. Less than two minutes later, senior Stephanie Palmucci got in on the act, with a nice goal off of a Watson feed. Watson netted another just 22 seconds later, furthering the back and forth nature of the contest with another lead change.
With just over a minute left in the period, Watson got her second assist of the day on a beautiful inside dish to fellow senior Lia LaPrise, extending the lead to 5-3. Kozak added a solo score just a half-minute later, just before junior Husky Kate Schaffer brought the advantage to 6-4 to end the half.
Watson got the second half going in just the first minute with another unassisted goal, giving her the first Husky hat trick of the campaign. That sparked a monster Stag run though, with Fairfield netting four goals over the course of the next five minutes. The three-score Husky lead suddenly evaporated, and they soon found themselves in a one-goal hole. The maturity and age of this Husky team is what makes it so strong though, with reliable seniors who can help dig their way out of trouble. LaPrise and Grace Coon proved their leadership skills as seniors, with Coon finding LaPrise to tie things up at the tail end of the third quarter.
Coon opened up the final period with a great dodge, which she followed with her first score of the year at an opportune time, giving the Huskies their first lead since the early third quarter. It took less than three minutes for Stags’ Elizabeth Talluto to even things up again, but Coon delivered another just 25 seconds later to take the lead back.
Talluto once again responded just 49 ticks later, but Coon gave UConn its fifth and final lead of the contest, completing her clutch hat trick that saw all goals scored in the fourth. The Huskies packed it in for the final seven minutes of play, with the cherry on top being Sydney Watson’s dagger with 45 seconds left to put things out of reach for good, winning 12-10.
Overall, this was a solid effort for the Huskies in a contest that allowed them to shake off some rust. Watson looked like the clear best player on the field, scoring four goals to go along with a pair of assists, nearly doubling the shot total of the next best player.
Senior goalkeeper Landyn White also played well, collecting 11 saves in a full-game effort, making key plays when the Huskies needed her to. Things don’t get any easier for UConn, as they will make the trip to Glencoe, Maryland for a semi-away matchup against No. 13 James Madison this Saturday at 1:00 p.m.