Women’s Lacrosse: Shaffer, Huskies upset No. 15 Yale in overtime thriller

UConn women’s Lacrosse loses to UMass 12 to 16. It was a close game with UConn holding the lead for the first half before falling behind.

What. A. Win.

After starting the season 0-2 against ranked opponents, the UConn women’s lacrosse team broke their streak, taking down No. 15 Yale at Morrone Stadium on Saturday. Across the end of regulation and overtime, the Huskies had four unanswered goals to put them ahead for good. Kate Shaffer was the star of the show, leaving her mark on each of those scores either by earning the goal herself or providing an assist.

The contest started out intense, with Connecticut goalkeeper Landyn White blocking five shots early before allowing Yale to take the first lead of the game. Back-to-back goals from Sophie Sorenson and Grace Coon hit the Bulldogs before they even knew what happened, scoring within a minute of each other to put UConn up 2-1. Yale had the last laugh of the quarter, with Jenna Collignon adding her second goal of the day.

The second quarter continued this back-and-forth action, with the Huskies and Bulldogs trading goals twice to put things at 4-4 heading into the break. Susan Lafountain and Lia LaPrise each scored in this period for UConn.

In the third quarter, there was more heated competition, with each team refusing to give in. Every time one team scored, their opponent was right alongside with an answer. This quarter, the Bulldogs kept trying to pull ahead, with the Huskies following up with a response. Rayea Davis and Maddy George helped Connecticut stay afloat, making the game 6-6. Yale scored once more with 17 seconds left, which appeared to mark the first time either team had a lead to end a period all day. However, Coon struck again for the Huskies, this time on a free position shot with a second left in the third to make it seven-all.

The fourth started out all Bulldogs, with the visitors scoring three unanswered goals to make the score 10-7 – the largest lead of the day for either side. The Huskies, refusing to give in to even a top 15 team in the country, was able to respond in a big way. Shaffer added her first scores of the day with back-to-back goals, then assisted Lafountain to tie up the game with 6:03 left. White was huge for UConn down the stretch, keeping things knotted up at the end of regulation.

With all of the momentum, it was Shaffer who finished things on her own terms, winning the golden-goal overtime period with a free position score, ending her day with a hat trick and two assists. White added a monstrous 14 saves in the victory.

Saturday was just another day at the office for White, who is putting together quite the resume this season. Through the team’s first six games, she has made 12.2 saves per game with a save percentage of 54.5%. Those marks are No. 3 and No. 8 in the nation, respectively. The reigning Big East Goalkeeper of the Year has picked up right where she left off and has been integral to UConn’s success this year.

With the win, the Huskies improve to 4-2 on the year, building a ton of confidence after such a resume-building win.

Up next for Connecticut is a road matchup with another Ivy school, Cornell, this upcoming Saturday at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, NY. While the Big Red aren’t nationally ranked, they boast a strong 5-1 start to the year (at the time of writing) and will surely give the Huskies a tough time in a hostile environment. Gametime is set for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

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