After suffering a loss at home to No. 3 Denver, the No. 24 UConn women’s lacrosse team has another tough hurdle to climb in the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Connecticut (8-4 overall, 1-1 Big East) enjoyed quite the winning streak before their latest contest, defeating Albany, Hofstra, Columbia and Villanova before falling to the Pioneers. Three of the Huskies’ four losses this season have come from opponents who were ranked at the time, with Cornell being the sole exception. Their signature victory on the year is certainly a win over then-No. 15 Yale at home last month.
Thanks to a 1-1 week, UConn jumped up one spot in the IWLCA Division I Coaches’ Poll, moving from No. 25 to No. 24.
Leading the Huskies in points this season is attacker Kate Shaffer. The senior had big shoes to fill coming into this year with top scorer Sydney Watson graduating, and she’s done quite well for herself, notching 33 goals and 19 assists in 12 contests. Against Denver, the West Hartford native notched her 100th career goal and currently sits at No. 23 in the nation in points per game at the time of writing. Shaffer has scored in each of the matches she’s played in, and she should continue to be a factor for this UConn squad against Marquette.
As good as Shaffer has been, the MVP of the team thus far may have to go to goalkeeper Landyn White. The graduate student has been huge this season, being a solid foundation of the Husky defense. Against the Pioneers, White saved her 500th shot of her collegiate career, and looks to add more on Saturday. She currently boasts the ninth-best save percentage in the nation, blocking 50.9% of her shots seen.
Senior midfielder Madelyn George recently earned herself a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, starting out conference play hot with three goals, 10 draw controls, two caused turnovers and a ground ball over two matches. In this highly anticipated contest, George hopes to keep up her pace.
Marquette (12-1 overall, 2-0 Big East) boasts a nine-game win streak, only falling to now-No. 2 Northwestern at home. The Golden Eagles haven’t faced any other ranked teams this season, but based on their resume so far, they’re looking to prove themselves, and this matchup with the Huskies gives them the perfect opportunity to do so. Their strong start to the year has caught the eye of a few coaches, as Marquette received votes in this week’s poll, the first time that’s happened in program history.
The Golden Eagles are led by senior midfielder Lydia Foust, who tops the charts with 42 goals alongside eight assists. The team leader in points is distributor Mary Schumar, who has 16 goals but 50 total assists on the year. That assist mark is best in the nation, and surely a primary target for the UConn defense. If they can limit Schumar’s passing, they will be able to cool red-hot Marquette.
Schumar earned herself a spot on this week’s Big East Honor Roll for her production over the last two games, putting away two goals and dishing out 11 assists. Perhaps even more impressive was the performance of senior attacker Shea Garcia. The Golden Eagle scored 10 goals over two games, including eight in a blowout win over Xavier. Thanks to the big week, Garcia was named Big East Attacker of the Week and looks to add to her resume against the Huskies.
Saturday’s match will take place atnoon EST at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The game will be broadcast live on FloSports with stats provided by Sidearm Stats.