After starting the year with a program-best 9-1 record in out of conference play, the UConn women’s lacrosse team is slated to start Big East play with a home matchup versus Marquette University.
In their last game, the Huskies took care of business against Columbia en route to their eighth straight win.
Kate Shaffer has been absolutely electric for UConn in their past three games. Although not against the greatest opponents, Shaffer has scored a combined 16 goals in those three wins, taking a lot of the pressure off Sydney Watson’s shoulders. Prior to Shaffer’s emergence, Watson was consistently the team’s leading scorer, game after game. Now, as the team moves into their conference season, Shaffer is a competent second option alongside Watson.
For the Golden Eagles, they haven’t had quite the season they likely envisioned. Standing at 5-6, Marquette has lost two of its past three games. This will be the team’s second against a ranked opponent, with their first coming against No. 5 Northwestern. Marquette was clobbered 24-13, unable to generate the offense they needed to keep up.
In the scoring department, the Huskies will really have to watch out for Shea Garcia, a senior from Manhasset, NY. So far, Garcia has a team-high 28 goals but has been more quiet as of late. Despite holding an average of 2.5 goals per game, she has only scored twice in the past three. She really showed out in a 22-9 romp of Detroit Mercy, where she scored six times and dished out a pair of assists. Her playmaking isn’t what she hangs her hat on, but it is somewhat of a threat, as she collects a touch over one per game.
The primary distributor for the Golden Eagles is Mary Schumar, an attacker from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Schumar has collected a team-high 20 assists on the campaign, good for nearly two per game. She’s possibly the biggest threat on the team, with her dual ability to score and pass, also netting 17 goals. If you try too hard to contain her on one side, she has the capability to burn you on the other. Her best game came in a rout over Kent State, where she scored two, but helped her teammates, collecting a season-high five assists. The combination of Schumar and Garcia will be dangerous if they’re clicking and something to watch out for.
Although Marquette is better on the offensive end than they are on defense, UConn is superior in both categories, according to Massey. Having a weak defense will be especially tough to deal with against a Husky offense that is top 15 in the nation. Expect a lot of scoring.
The game can be streamed on FloSports and will be held in Storrs at 12 p.m. on April 2.