As much of a rivalry as UConn and No. 25 UMass women’s lacrosse have in theory, it has an extremely one-sided history. Through 12 matchups coming into Saturday’s game, the Minutemen had won 10, although Connecticut took two of the past three. Even with this momentum within the series the past few years, UMass stole a victory in Storrs, Connecticut, 16-12, despite trailing at the half.
The Huskies have been playing roughly as expected this year, winning their three games against inferior competition, while losing both of their contests against ranked opponents. This matchup against UMass fell into the latter category, as they put up a fight, proving themselves as a fringe top-25 caliber squad.
One of the biggest measures of their performance was that they were outshot 36-26, demonstrating that they didn’t necessarily deserve to come out with the win. They also only corralled 13 of the 32 draw controls, another indicator of the Minutemen’s skill. There aren’t too many team stats in their favor, so it’s hard to get too upset if you’re a UConn fan.
There wasn’t one performance that stood too far ahead of any others among the Huskies, but Susan Lafountain had a nice outing. She scored a pair of goals and added two assists, which was enough to lead the team in points. The junior has had a successful season thus far, as the team’s third leading scorer. There’s a number of people who have done a great job stepping up in wake of the hole Sydney Watson left and Lafountain is right up there with the best of them.
Kate Shaffer had a pedestrian two goals on a team-high five shots, continuing her run as the Huskies’ most productive player. Through five games, she has twice as many points as anyone else on the team, a Watson-esque statistic. She made a great push down the stretch last year and has really taken over the team now. Although Saturday wasn’t her best effort, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to redeem herself later on.
The Minutemen started off on a nice run, notching a pair of goals and not letting up any for the first six and a half minutes of the contest. The next four minutes saw Grace Coon and Lafountain tack on scores to tie things at two. Alex Finn and Lafountain traded goals in the final minutes of the opening quarter, making it three apiece.
Shaffer and Sophie Sorenson added to the Huskies’ total in the first few minutes of the second frame and Lia LaPrise found the back of the net to increase the home advantage to three. UMass’ Kylee Bowen went back-to-back to cut the deficit to just a single goal, but Rayea Davis contributed to the cushion with a goal in the final seconds of the half.
The teams went back and forth to start the half, but things started to go south for the Huskies with six minutes to go. The Minutemen scored four unanswered on a run that led into the fourth period, two coming from Finn.
Kaitlyn Tartaglione did her best to stop the bleeding with a goal a minute later, an effort that proved generally fruitless. UMass scored four more without a Husky response, effectively putting Joseph J. Morrone Stadium to sleep.
The Huskies will stay home for their next matchup, where they’ll welcome in-state rival Yale for a dogfight this Saturday.