Third time’s the charm? For the third time this year, the UConn Huskies women’s lacrosse team is slated to host their home-opener to the public. The first two times, weather interfered, causing the game to be played inside the Shenkman Training Center, the typical practice facility for the Huskies. This time, the weather looks brisk but playable, as the UConn community looks to welcome back their Huskies.
On Sunday, UConn will take on the Cornell Big Red, who have generally had a successful start to their season. They started out with two convincing wins over Villanova and Binghamton, with a combined margin of victory of 19 goals. They then lost 20-11 at home to borderline top 25 Penn State, and then a heartbreaker to Princeton, 13-12. After their two game skid, they clobbered Colgate 17-6 at home.
The Big Red’s offensive attack is one of the more balanced in the country. They have six players with nine or more points and four players with eight or more goals. At the head of the attack is Amanda Cramer, who has lit opposing teams up on the scoring end. In just 18 shots, the senior has 11 goals and two assists. This total was highlighted by her back to back hat tricks against Penn State and Princeton. Although they lost both of those contests, Cramer has a pair of great games. It will be critical for the Huskies to keep an eye on Cramer, as her efficiency makes her a massive threat.
Another potential problem will be Maryland native Katie Castiello, who is second on the team in points. The junior assist-leader has four on the season, to go along with an impressive eight goals. Her best performance of the season came in the opening win over Villanova, where Castiello took charge with a hat trick and an assist. The attacker has been big for the Big Red all season and will need to continue that production against UConn if Cornell wants to grab the win.
On the Huskies’ side, the player to watch will be Lia LaPrise. In UConn’s 5-1 start, LaPrise has quietly been putting up really good numbers, despite being overshadowed by All American teammate Sydney Watson. LaPrise has a team-high eight assists on the season and also ranks second on the team in goals with 15. Her efficiency has been great so far too, with a 60% shooting mark. LaPrise has been an X-factor for the Huskies all year and one could argue that she is just as important to UConn’s success as Watson.
Another big thing to watch for will be UConn’s defensive unit. They put on a clinic in the Huskies’ latest win over Manhattanville, at one point holding the Jaspers for 40 consecutive minutes. UConn lacrosse is normally known for their offensive production, but if their defense can continually show out like they did against Manhattanville, then the ceiling for the Huskies is very high.
The game will stream on FloSports at 1 p.m. this Sunday.