After a 1-1 draw against Fordham in their last outing, the UConn women’s soccer team can settle in at Morrone Stadium for four consecutive home games beginning with Long Beach State on Thursday.
The Huskies (2-3-2) will wrap up their non-conference slate this week by hosting the 49ers (4-3-1), followed by Colorado College on Sunday.
After struggling to score earlier in the season, UConn hopes the four goals, including three from freshman Kess Elmore, will lead to more scoring. For her efforts, Elmore earned Rookie of the Week Honors from the American Athletic Conference.
The 49ers come to the east coast having lost 2-0 in their last outing at Loyola Marymount. They will proceed to take on mutual foe St. John’s in New York on Sunday after their clash with UConn.
Like UConn, the 49ers began the season ranked in the NCAA United Soccer Coach’s poll and have played a challenging schedule, including a 5-1 loss to current No. 1 UCLA.
The team has been without star player Ashley Gonzales, the 2016 Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and 2017 Mac Herrman Trophy watch list member, since the UCLA game due to injury.
Long Beach State has 10 goals on the season, good for 1.25 per game compared to UConn’s eight goals and 1.14 per game.
The 49ers, led in net by junior Imani McDonald, who has started all eight of their games, have three shutouts on the season and McDonald sports a .735 save percentage.
Sophomore Katie Pingel leads their attack with two goals on 18 shots along with an assist. Tied to lead the team with five points is senior midfielder Tori Bolden with a goal on 11 shots in addition to three assists. Sophomore Ayana Robles, a transfer from Seattle, also has two goals.
Under head coach Mauricio Ingrassa, the team reached the 2016 NCAA tournament but was eliminated in the first round.
Elmore’s five goals make her standout out from her fellow Huskies. No one else has more than one, but Maine transfer Vivien Biel matches her with 14 shots.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Molly Kerrigan has been challenged all season, making 31 saves with a .795 save percentage.
The young Huskies hope results against Long Beach State and Colorado College will propel them into conference play mostly recuperated from a suboptimal beginning of the season.
Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.