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3-0 UConn Leads NE

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3-0 UConn Leads NE

UConn scored eight tries Saturday. (Photo: James C Garman / SportsPageMagazine.com)

UConn has established a nice lead in the DI Northeast conference, improving to 3-0 after a 48-5 win over Rhode Island last weekend.

Both teams were undefeated heading into Saturday’s contest. UConn had bettered Boston College 19-0 and UMass 33-5, while URI had edged Northeastern 29-22 the weekend prior. But this Week Three matchup was a one-sided affair, as UConn launched a balanced attack that split the eight tries evenly between backs and forwards. Rachel Gomes and Lily Fontes scored a brace of tries apiece, and Laura Heatherman, Jasmin Folch, Devon Gold, and Sofia Gonzalez also dotted down. Heatherman led all point-scorers with 13, adding four conversions to her try, and the flanker now leads the conference with 28 points total.

Rhode Island prevented the shutout with a Liz Boyle try.

“Our success continuing on this year is mainly down to consistency, from strong leadership, through captains, on-field leaders, off-field organization and coaching,” UConn coach Mark Jordan informed. “We are, as most teams find out, very organized in defense and don't give away scores easily. Whilst in attack, we believe in being able to adapt our offense to the strengths or weaknesses of the opposition, as well as being balanced enough to utilize either backs or forwards to take on the opponents.”

Although UConn is developing into the favorite for the Northeast title, the Huskies have had to do a lot of work to establish itself as the league leader. The team lost several influential players from last season, and it’s relying on a good mix of experienced and young players to solidify UConn’s new style. Captains Emily Reed and Gabby Benitez have been doing an excellent job bringing cohesion to the forwards and backs, respectively. In the meantime, Jordan is leaning on fundamental game-changers, like team fitness, to produce the victories.

In other conference news, UMass banked its first win of the season against Northeastern, winning 72-5. Jocelyn Dennett was unstoppable on the wing and scored four tries, while lock Shelby Vance (3), and center Corinne Herlihy (2) crossed the try line on multiple occasions. Rachael Flynn, Rachel Chu, and Olivia Fournier also scored, while Katie Fetros (4) and Emily Jutras (2) handled the extras.

With the exception of UConn (3-0) and Northeastern (0-3), all of the conference teams are 1-1. But that will change in Week Four when UConn plays Boston University, UMass takes on Rhode Island, and Northeastern travels to Boston College. Stay tuned.