Fresh off a victory over Marquette, the UConn women’s lacrosse team will try to remain undefeated at home when Big East rival Temple travels to Storrs to challenge the streaking Huskies Wednesday.
UConn ( 7-4, 2-0 Big East) won its third straight game Saturday, but a poor second half put a damper on a great beginning to the game. UConn’s normally stout defense gave Marquette uncharacteristically good looks and the offense suffered from numerous turnovers. But UConn was able to produce enough goals down the stretch.
Three Huskies scored hat tricks, and a career-high six points from freshman Grace Nolan were enough to push UConn past Marquette. Nolan’s effort earned the attacker her third Big East Rookie of the Week honors.
Temple has bragging rights in the all-time series with a 2-1 advantage. UConn did win the last matchup, however, a 15-9 victory at Greasey Field in Philadelphia last season.
This year’s Temple squad is a team of road-warriors, only dropping one game away from home this season. Junior Nicole Tiernan leads the owls in goals with 28 on the year. Tiernan can certainly put the ball in the back of the net but has trouble distributing the ball. The midfielder is still searching for her first assist of the season. Attackers Nicole Barretta and Kathryn Skahan are both second in goals (11) and have two assists.
Goalkeeper Jaqi Kakalecik has played every minute in goal for Temple this season. Her 74 saves rank in the top three of the conference and her 6.73 saves per match are second in the Big East.
When the leaders in assists only have two apiece it should be obvious that ball movement is not of the team’s top priority. Whereas UConn thrives on spacing on ball movement , and having every player ready to score, Temple is fine with letting their players work to create their own shots. UConn currently leads the Big East in assists per game with 6.64. Temple also excels at not committing fouls with 18 per game. Vanderbilt currently leads the conference with 30 per match.
The game is set for 3 p.m. at the George Sherman Family Sports Complex.