After a tough loss on the road last weekend, the UConn women’s lacrosse team is back in action this Saturday, taking on St. Joseph’s at home at 1 p.m.
The Huskies (1-1) have had an up-and-down start to the year, taking home an overtime win over Fairfield in their season opener before falling to No. 12 James Madison on the road in a defensive battle. It’s early in the season, and this team is working on finding their own identity, especially after losing program top scorer and draw controls leader Sydney Watson to the professional ranks this past May.
Even though the team is only through two games, it took no time for a pair of UConn athletes to take home Big East weekly awards. Defending Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Landyn White started out the season “white”-hot, totaling 11 groundballs and 32 saves across both contests. Against a stout Dukes offense, White made 20 saves against 27 total shots on goal.
All-Big East Second Teamer Grace Coon is picking back up right where she left off last spring as well, netting herself seven goals and an assist for eight total points on 11 shots on goal. Coon also added one forced turnover. For her efforts, the graduate student earned a Big East Honor Roll nod. Both Coon and White will continue to lead the Huskies moving forward.
The entire Husky back line is coming off of a very strong performance at James Madison, holding a top team in the country to just 11 points at home. Connecticut did a great job of limiting the Dukes’ top option on offense, Isabella Peterson, to one goal. While St. Joseph’s doesn’t necessarily boast a player of Peterson’s caliber, it is a good sign of things to come for this UConn defense and their ability to keep themselves in close competition with any opponent.
The Hawks (0-3) may be winless, but they are certainly hungry for a victory. Projected to finish third overall in a decent Atlantic 10 Conference, St. Joseph’s is coming off a strong 14-7 season in which they won the A-10 Championship. A blowout loss at No. 2 Maryland was a bit of an eye-opener for the Hawks, but they followed up that weak performance with tough, one-score losses at Lehigh and Villanova. Make no mistake — this team should not be counted out.
St. Joseph’s is led by senior midfielder Riley Evans. A Second Team All-Atlantic 10 selection last season, Evans has been lethal on offense with limited opportunities, scoring six goals on just seven shots, all of them on target. While a shooting percentage as high as that mark may be unsustainable, the Huskies should try to stop Evans from getting a shot off at all costs.
While Evans’ six scores is impressive, sophomore midfielder Maddie Yoder tops all Hawks in goals with eight alongside one assist. She’s been more of a scorer by volume, taking 19 total shots through three contests. The 2022 A-10 All-Rookie selection is another attacker to keep an eye on.
Gametime is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut. Stats will be provided by StatBroadcast.