After holding off a talented Georgetown team at home on Wednesday, the No. 25 UConn women’s lacrosse team has a quick turnaround, taking on the Butler Bulldogs on the road this Saturday.
The Huskies (9-5, 2-2 Big East) have enjoyed a solid season, earning a ranking in the IWLCA Coaches’ Poll a few weeks ago and staying in the top 25 ever since. After enjoying a four-game winning streak in the middle of their season, UConn faltered for two contests, falling to Big East-leaders Marquette and Denver before snapping their cold streak against the Hoyas. Now, they look to solidify a conference tournament berth once again, guaranteeing a revenge matchup against one of those two rivals.
Taking place this year in Storrs, the Big East Championship hosts the top four teams in the seven-squad conference. A win on Saturday would boost the Huskies to an unreachable distance from Georgetown, Butler and Xavier.
Integral to Connecticut’s success this year has been senior attacker Kate Shaffer. The West Hartford native leads all Huskies in points and goals with 58 and 19, respectively. Shaffer has been everywhere for UConn up top, cementing herself as a go-to option. On Wednesday, she scored six of her team’s 13 goals, putting away a couple of daggers in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. She looks to keep that killer mentality heading into this weekend.
On the other end, the Huskies are anchored by goalkeeper Landyn White. The graduate student is integral to the team’s success, as she is ranked No. 7 in the country in save percentage heading into Wednesday’s matchup with 50.7%. That number increased this week thanks to a near-personal record 19 saves to just nine goals allowed. Even with heavy pressure, White can take the heat, and hopes to keep up her dominant campaign against the Bulldogs.
Butler (5-8, 1-3 Big East) has struggled this year, currently the owners of a four-game losing streak. Their lone conference win comes over bottomfeeder Xavier, who doesn’t have a Big East victory to their name. There have been some highlights this season, namely their three-contest win streak at the end of March, defeating Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan and Xavier at home. While not out of postseason contention yet, the Bulldogs need to play some of their best games of the year down the stretch, and they need a little luck as well.
Butler is led by junior Leah Rubino. The midfielder has done a ton of damage from center pitch, totaling 37 points and 33 goals on the year. Rubino has scored in each of the last seven games and looks to keep up that streak against the Huskies.
Even on the road, UConn’s shooters look to have a field day on Saturday, facing a squad that has allowed north of 15 goals per game. Sophomore Caroline Smith leads the pack for the Bulldogs, registering a save percentage of 41% across 13 matchups.
Saturday’s contest will take place at 11 a.m. at Varsity Field in Indianapolis, Indiana. The game, also serving as Butler’s Senior Day, will be broadcast live on FloSports with stats provided by StatBroadcast.