Visiting Connecticut Edges Villanova

VILLANOVA, Pa. Connecticut (9-6 overall, 3-4 Big East) pulled ahead of Villanova late in the first half and then survived two Wildcat rallies in the final 30 minutes to post a 13-11 victory here on Friday evening. The Wildcats are now 5-10 overall and 1-6 in Big East action with the regular season finale set for Sunday at Villanova Stadium against Syracuse.

Junior Justine Donodeo led a balanced Wildcat attack with three goals while senior Rachel Lasda added a pair of goals and classmate Carly Miller a goal and an assist.

Kiersten Tupper had two goals and four assists to pace the Huskies while M.E. Lapham recorded three goals in the win.

Villanova sophomore Amanda Hirschfeld had a strong night in net, making a season-high 15 saves for the Wildcats. Brittney Testa made seven saves while picking up the victory for UConn in goal.

The two teams traded goals for most of the first half. The contest was knotted at five after Villanova freshman Ali Brandenburg scored on a free position attempt with 4:57 remaining in the first half. Neither team led by more than a goal in the game's first 25 minutes.

Donodeo gave the Wildcats the lead at 6-5 with an unassisted goal with 3:52 left in the half. But the Huskies reeled off the final three goals of the period to take an 8-6 lead into halftime.

Lasda pulled the 'Cats to within one just 51 seconds into the second half on a free position attempt. Connecticut restored the lead just over a minute later when Dorian Gilmartin-Dzitko converted a free position attempt at 27:58. Sophomore Maria Bowman and Lasda responded with unassisted goals for Villanova to tie the game at nine with 26:17 left.

The two teams traded goals again Donodeo scored for Villanova over the next ten minutes to knot matters at 10 with 15:12 to play.

UConn scored the next three goals, though, and that was the difference in the game. Sophomore Shannon Lane scored for Villanova with 10 seconds left to make the final count 13-11.

The Huskies owned a 38-26 advantage in shots and 19-17 edge on ground balls. Connecticut held a 17-9 advantage on draw controls.

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VILLANOVA, Pa. Kiersten Tupper had a season-high six points on two goals and four assists, while M.E. Lapham and Lauren Kahn each tallied three goals, as Connecticut edged out Villanova, 13-11 this evening. The win marks the third straight Big East victory for the Huskies, who are now 3-4 in conference play and 9-6 overall.

UConn and Villanova battled throughout the entire contest, with the Huskies holding an 8-6 lead going into halftime. The Huskies were able to string together multiple goals three times during the game though as they earned the hard fought victory this evening at Villanova Stadium.

At the midway point of the first half Villanova held a 3-2 advantage, but Lapham and Dorian Gilmartin-Dzitko put together three straight goals to give the Huskies a 5-3 lead. The Wildcats answered with three goals of their own in a four minute span to earn their third lead of the game at 6-5.

The Trio of Tupper, Kacey Pippitt and Morgan O'Reilly tallied three more goals for the Huskies in the closing minutes of the first half to give the Huskies an 8-6 lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the contest.

The Wildcats opened the second half with a 4-2 run, but the Huskies would not stay quiet for the entire second half, as they tallied three straight goals in the final 10 minutes to close out the contest. Jordan Christopher, Tupper and Kahn tallied the final three goals of the contest for the Huskies as the UConn defense gave up just one Villanova goal in the last 15 minutes of action.

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