STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut stood tall to start the team’s second half with a 12-2 lead. In their first Big East matchup of the season, a double-digit lead was sure to deserve plenty of praise.
Marquette University, on the other hand, had different plans for the No. 21 women’s lacrosse team in the country. After scoring just two goals in the first half, they proceeded to go on a tear, scoring six goals in the third quarter and cutting it to within two goals against the Huskies.
You can chalk up the late game comeback from the Golden Eagles to some heroics from freshman Elise Smigiel and senior Shea Garcia. Three goals in the second half from each player would’ve been considered unthinkable at the start of the second half. After all, this was the same team that had won eight games in a row since their loss at James Madison University.
But, then again, the Huskies have proven time and again that they’re willing to fight till the very end of their games for a win. On Saturday, that’s exactly what they did.
When Sydney Watson, Lia LaPrise and especially Kate Shaffer are locked in against any team, it’s pretty hard to stop UConn. Saturday was a prime example of that. Shaffer alone contributed five goals in the win and has been huge for a squad that has looked unstoppable against their opponents on offense.
Watson on Saturday looked like her usual self with a brilliant showing that included four goals and eight draw controls. She has always been a top choice for coach Katie Woods, especially in tightly contested situations like Saturday’s win. Watson sealed the win for the Huskies with a beautiful goal to extend UConn’s lead to three in the fourth quarter with under a minute of playtime. Despite some trouble with six turnovers, she still showed why she’s one of the most dominant players in today’s game.
Looking at the defensive side of Saturday’s game, the team got some key saves from Landyn White when they needed her to step up the most. White’s been one of the best goalkeepers in the Big East and, despite a rough second half for the senior, she was able to be a major player in stopping the Golden Eagles from grabbing the win.
Overall, it was a show of strength and persistence when it seemed like all momentum was lost by the Huskies. Any team that can stand in the way of adversity like the Huskies did on Saturday is certainly going to be tough to stop.