For the third time in three days, the UConn women’s lacrosse team hit the road for New York, this time facing off against the Hofstra Pride on Long Island. The Pride have been largely unimpressive through their first 10 matches, notching just three wins, good for a KPI rating of No. 83 nationally out of the 127 competing squads. They scored what looked to be a great win over ranked Vanderbilt early, but the Commodores have disappointed, with a sub .500 record. Despite their rough record, Hofstra did their very best to give the Huskies a good fight, but ultimately faltered, losing 14-13 in overtime.
Grace Coon had a killer performance once again, lighting up the Pride for a hat trick and two assists. Her third score was the most important of the contest, as it was the sudden-death game-winner in overtime. Coon has been in a zone as of late, with 12 points across her last three games, two of which the Huskies have won. She’s third on the team in scoring, providing the veteran leadership expected out of a graduate student.
Another player who made her mark on the game is Susan Lafountain, posting four goals. The Rochester, New York native is having a career year, on pace for her best scoring output. She’s just one goal shy of her season-total mark she set last year and the team hasn’t even hit conference play yet. It’s encouraging to have the junior stepping up to fill in the scoring gaps from last year and making such a considerable jump. She’s second on the squad in goals and isn’t stopping anytime soon, evident from her eight scores in her past two outings. It’s also important to note her assist on Coon’s game winner, demonstrating her abilities in the passing department.
After posting seven points in the Albany win, Kate Shaffer took a bit more of a backseat in this win, scoring just a pair of goals. Shaffer has continued her breakout party that started halfway through last season, pacing the Huskies in scoring and assists. It’s hard to guess where Connecticut would be without Shaffer this year, but it’s easy to imagine a record poorer than 6-3. The supporting cast has been a big part in the Huskies’ success too, but Shaffer has taken the cake as the team’s alpha.
Hofstra scored two in the opening four minutes of action, but UConn is rarely phased by deficits. Shaffer, Lafountain and Lia LaPrise all scored within a minute of each other, and suddenly the game had turned on the Pride. Hofstra had an appropriate response, scoring three of the next four goals, but Lafountain managed to tie things at five to wrap the quarter up.
Shaffer and LaPrise’s second goals each helped the Huskies jump out to an 8-5 lead to start the second frame, creating a 4-0 run. The Pride ripped off a pair of goals to narrow the lead, but Lafountain and Coon responded with two of their own. Connecticut looked to take a three-goal lead into the break, but a last second score from Katie Kelly snuffed those hopes.
Hofstra built on their momentum with two goals to open the half, but each was answered by Huskies finding the back of the net. The Pride’s big break came over a nearly 20 minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters, where they scored three straight without allowing any. Now down for the first time since early in the first period, things were not looking up for UConn.
That was until Lafountain buried the ball into goal, forcing overtime. Tied at 13 in the extra period, Connecticut dramatically controlled the draw and called the timeout near striking distance. Lafountain drew attention from the defenders, leaving Coon open. Coon collected the pass from Lafountain and rifled a shot past the keeper, winning the game for UConn.
The Huskies’ chance to build on this dramatic win will come at Columbia this Saturday evening, providing a nice appetizer for those planning on tuning into the Men’s Basketball Final Four game.