The 1981 Huskies opened the NCAA era with a pair of shutouts, but followed that with a tie and a loss to sit at 2-1-1 after four games. A win, tie and a loss in their next three games put UConn at 3-2-2 seven games into the season. The Huskies responded with four straight shutouts that started an eight-game winning streak in which they outscored opponents 26-2. A tie with undefeated UMass came before a shutout of Boston College ended the regular season. A double-overtime win over Purdue allowed UConn to remain at home as the hosts of the inaugural NCAA Division I Champions. After beating ODU in the semis, the Huskies won the title in front of their home crowd after handing top seed UMass their first defeat of the season. Behind All-Americans Laurie Decker and Lorie McCollum, UConn went 2-0-2 against tournament-bound teams, including tying Penn State, who won the AIAW national championship in 1981. UConn went 12-0-1 over the final 13 games, allowing only five goals en route to winning the title.
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