May 4, 2014
By Marya Fratoni
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last Thursday marked the end of the 2014 women’s lacrosse season. The team fell to Georgetown, 16-8, in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament and failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament due to a couple of unexpected losses in the beginning of the season.
The Hoyas jumped out to a 3-0 in the early stages of the game, but the Huskies rallied to make it 5-5 at the break. Georgetown would get its lead back in the second half and went into a stall that the Huskies attempted to break by raising the pressure on ball and pulling the goalkeeper out of the cage to act as an eighth defender. Unfortunately, the play did not work and the gap only continued to widen.
One of the driving forces behind the team’s ability to rally was sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Nee (Lancaster, Pa.). She boasted a 64 percent save percentage in the first half and was able to help the Huskies regain possession of the ball through her 12 total saves. Connecticut’s team turnovers however proved to be too much of a burden and outweighed Nee’s individual effort.
Other team members who were also able to chip away at Georgetown’s defense were senior midfielder Kacey Pippitt (New Canaan, Conn.) and sophomore midfielder Alyson Fazio (Methuen, Mass.), who netted a career-high three goals in the loss.
Clears and turnovers turned out to be the difference in UConn’s loss, as the Huskies only completed eight out their 17 clear attempts, while Georgetown successfully completed all 16 of their clears. UConn finished the game with 18 turnovers compared to just eight turnovers committed by the Hoyas.
In the locker room after the game, coach Katie Woods expressed that this game was unfortunately a snapshot of the team’s inconsistent play throughout this season. Woods and the Huskies will look to fix these inconsistencies and return to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years next season.
This year’s squad considered itself a “second-half team” and it often played its best following the opening period of each game. Not playing at the optimum level for the whole 60 minutes caused overall inconsistencies on both sides of the ball, and ultimately cost Connecticut a shot at its first Big East title in program history. While UConn didn’t meet its goal of making it to the tournament for the second time in program history, the Huskies and Woods are determined to get over the hump quickly and eliminate those type of inconsistencies by the start of next season.
“We’re going to do more reps than you could ever imagine,” said Woods. “For us it’s going to come down to the leadership too, the culture of doing more so that you can’t get it wrong. That is going to be really important for us.”