What should be a rejuvenated UConn women’s soccer team (2-4-3) begins the conference portion of their schedule, hosting Cincinnati (7-1-2) Thursday at Joseph J. Morrone stadium.
The Huskies have had 10 days of needed rest since their last game on September 28, a 1-1 tie against Colorado College, which was their fourth consecutive game to go overtime. They went 1-1-2 in that stretch.
The Bearcats have played a challenging schedule up to this point and began conference play last week by tying national no. 13 UCF 0-0 and defeating USF 1-0, two of the premier teams in the conference.
As a team they only average 1.2 goals per game, tied for eighth in the conference, despite averaging 18.3 shots per game, which leads the league. Freshman midfielder Sophie Gorman leads that attack with seven points, with three goals and an assist.
Seniors Julie Gavorski, a forward, and Vanessa Gilles, a defender, also have three goals this season.
Where the Bearcats really make their mark is through a stalwart back end.
Redshirt freshman Madison Less and freshman Jane Sensibaugh have split time in goalie this season. Sensibaugh has played four games, going undefeated, allowing only two goals for a .5 goals allowed averaged.
Less has played six games, including the most recent portion of their schedule, going 3-1-2, but sporting a lower .47 goals allowed average and an 87 percent save percentage.
As a unit, their goals against average of .48 is the best in the American. They also lead the conference in shutouts with six.
The Bearcats have a fairly aggressive style of play, as indicated by their 21 offsides and 8 yellow cards, both tops in the conference.
The Bearcats also benefit from a strong support at home, where they played both UCF and USF, as they lead the conference in total attendance and are second on a per game basis.
The Huskies fall in the middle to bottom of the pack in almost all statistical categories.
Freshman Kess Elmore has emerged as their offensive leader, with 11 points on five goals and an assist. In the last two games junior transfer Vivien Beil has also contributed a goal.
After going winning the American regular season and tournament, with a 8-0-1 record last season, the Huskies will have to replicate that performance if they have any hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament.
Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.