CINCINATTI, OH- UConn women’s lacrosse’s head coach Katie Woods called it “A good start to Conference play”. Most UConn fans would call it dominating. For the second straight game UConn held their opponent to under five goals as the Huskies cruised to a 10-4 victory over Cincinnati.
Facing a team that hasn’t played in 11 days, Cincinnati couldn’t get a shot on goal for the first five minutes of the game and the Huskies jumped at the opportunity to gain the early advantage. Midfielder Alyson Fazio opened the scoring when she and attacker Carly Palmucci executed a perfect give-and-go opportunity that left Fazio with a lane to the front of the net.
Nolan Grace scored off a free position shot and Jacqueline Jordan scored in transition three minutes later off a feed from Palmucci. Senior Emily Anderson extended the lead to 4-0 before Cincinatti came charging back with two goals of their own.
UConn wrestled back, going into the break behind goals by Katherine Finkelston and Fazio. Connecticut outshot the Bearcats 15-5 and took a 6-2 lead into halftime. Palmucci’s three assists in the first half gave the junior her third career game of at least three assists.
Out of the break, Cincinnati’s Sarah Del Bene quickly put a dent into the deficit but the Bearcats suffered a 15-minute scoring drought they could never recover from.
Junior Lauren Kwasnowski was the defensive anchor, finishing with a team-high four caused turnovers and three ground balls.
“We had a strong day defensively which really helped to limit Cincimatti’s opportunities,” coach Woods said.
Goaltender Shannon Nee wasn’t called upon to do much but left Cincinnati with three saves and a season low three goals.
The powerful veteran tandem of Jordan and Alexandra Crofts tallied goals in the second half, but it was the freshmen that ended up putting the game out of reach. Kelsey Catalano scored her 14th goal of the season and Grace Nolan contributed her second goal of the match.
UConn has now opened Big East play with a win in three consecutive seasons and are 3-2 all time in openers under Woods.
Big East play continues when UConn plays host to Marquette on April 4 at the Sherman Sports Complex.