April 26, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut senior midfielder Kacey Pippitt (New Canaan, Conn.) scored a career-high six goals to lead the UConn women’s lacrosse team to a 15-4 victory on Saturday at the George J. Sherman-Family Sports Complex in the team’s final regular season game of the year. The Huskies, who outshot the Wildcats 32-14, head into the postseason at 10-6 overall and 5-2 in conference play, and they will face Georgetown on Thursday in the semifinal round of the 2014 Big East Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.
Connecticut, which played on national television (Fox Sports 2) for the first time in program history, put together its most complete game of the season on Saturday, controlling both ends of the field throughout the game. Pippitt’s career day came on Senior Day, as she and midfielder Lauren Kahn (Nanuet, N.Y.), attacker Jordan Christopher (Downingtown, Pa.). defender Siobhan Wilcox (Glastonbury, Conn.) and attacker Janet Tela (Alexandria, Va.) were all honored before the game. This year’s seniors are the only group to record a winning season every year during their time at UConn.
Pippitt scored the first two goals for the Huskies, starting less than 20 seconds into the game as she teamed up with Kahn to put Connecticut on the board. Kahn received the ball off a pass following a Wildcats' foul and delivered a great pass near the top of the 8-meter arc to Pippitt, who registered her 24th goal of the season, beating Villanova goalkeeper Jaclyn Fraum.
After Pippitt’s second goal of the day, UConn wasted little time adding another goal, scoring 11 seconds later on a beautiful goal in transition. Freshman midfielder Jacqueline Jordan (Los Gatos, Calif.) controlled the draw and charged towards the Villanova 8-meter arc, where she flipped it to sophomore Carly Palmucci (Herndon, Va.), who slotted home her 16th goal of the season to push the lead to three with 25:43 to go in the first half.
Goals by Kahn, Christopher and sophomore midfielder Katherine Finkelston (Leonardtown, Md.) increased the Connecticut lead to 6-0 over Villanova, who didn’t record a shot until 14:22 left in the first half. The Huskies, who allowed a season-best six goals against Cincinnati last Saturday, held a 21-3 shot advantage in the first half and allowed the Wildcats to convert just seven of its 13 clear attempts in the first 30 minutes.
Villanova sophomore attacker Kelsey Denihan netted her 26th goal of the season in the final minute of the first period to make it 9-3 UConn at halftime, but the Huskies would score the first five goals out of the break and six of the final seven goals of the contest to put the game away. Pippitt had three of the goals with her final goal coming with 18:45 left, as she scored on a give-and-go play with sophomore midfielder Alyson Fazio (Methuen, Mass.) in transition.
Tela (Alexandria, Va.) provided the exclamation point for the Huskies, recording her first career goal with 1:59 left in the game to extend Connecticut’s lead to 15-4. Tela, who was named a captain this season, received the ball behind the Villanova goal and curled around the right side of the net, where she beat Fraum top shelf.
Connecticut sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Nee (Lancaster, Pa.) needed to make just two saves to earn her 10th win of the season, while junior keeper Marya Fratoni (Downingtown, Pa.) logged quality minutes in net, recording three saves in less than 19 minutes of work. UConn converted 13 of their 18 clear attempts and caused 29 Villanova turnovers in the win.
The third-seeded Huskies are now set to play second seed Georgetown in Washington, D.C. on Thursday with the winner earning a spot in the Big East Championship. Connecticut fell to the Hoyas, 11-10, earlier this season at home.