After throttling New Hampshire by 11 points earlier this week, the UConn women’s lacrosse team faces some stiff competition at home on Saturday as they take on the No. 25 UMass Minutewomen.
While they began the preseason ranked in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Coaches’ Poll, the Huskies (3-1) have since been kicked out of the national leaderboard, with their sole loss coming at the hands of now-No. 12 James Madison. Connecticut received votes in the poll last week, and snagging a win against a talented UMass team would surely push the women back into the top 25.
UConn has plenty of momentum going for them, having just won handily at home over UNH. The Wildcats had no answers for the Huskies, who outscored the visitors 16-3 over the first three quarters. The team’s leading scorer Kate Shaffer led the way once again, notching four goals and an assist in the victory. With her performance, the senior attacker has scored at least four goals in three of the team’s four matchups this year, and she looks to continue that trend on Saturday.
Graduate student Landyn White has been stellar for Connecticut in goal this year. White has been a brick wall, earning herself a save percentage of .576. For her 11 save, five goal allowed performance against St. Joseph’s last week, the goalkeeper received a Big East Weekly Honor Roll nod. The defending Big East Goalkeeper of the Year has been nothing short of dominant this year, and should remain so moving forward.
The Minutewomen (4-1) have enjoyed a successful start to the year, taking down UMass Lowell, Siena, Holy Cross and Dartmouth thus far. Their lone loss was an away match, falling to then-No. 3 Boston College in a 16-6 blowout.
UMass employs a fairly balanced attack, with seven different Minutewomen reaching six goals each. In the team’s latest victory over Holy Cross it was Fiona McGowan who shined the brightest, going for two scores and four assists in the 16-10 win. Amy Moreau also added four goals of her own on Wednesday night. The Husky defense will definitely need to keep an eye on these two if they want to limit their opposition’s attack.
Leading the back line for UMass is senior Audra Tosone, who was recently named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week. Tosone helped the Minutewomen to a 2-0 week, combining for eight caused turnovers and six ground balls in that span. She hopes to continue to cause havoc on the defensive end and make the Huskies really work for their goals this weekend.
Historically, UMass has given UConn a tough time, defeating the Huskies 10 times in their 12 matchups dating back to 2009. Connecticut has been keeping it competitive as of late, winning two of the last three games, falling only in an overtime loss in Amherst over that stretch. While the overall win/loss record seems bleak, this program has proven they can beat the Minutewomen.
Saturday’s contest also marks Connecticut’s annual Alumni Game, where UConn women’s lacrosse alumni come to cheer on the team and are honored in a ceremony.
Gametime is set for 1 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut. The game will be broadcast live on FloSports with stats provided by StatBroadcast.