It was a beautiful night for soccer. Apparently, it was a beautiful night for a lot of other things. Maybe competing with Nickel Night is a fatal flaw in the current Thursday-Sunday configuration of the UConn women’s soccer schedule.
Either way, the women’s soccer team fell to Long Beach State 3-2 in two overtimes Thursday night at Morrone Stadium but there wasn’t anyone there to notice it.
The announced attendance was 497 but in reality it was much lower. The UConn Goal Patrol was there, about six to ten people deep.
This was the third of UConn’s only four home non-conference games this season.
Last season, the Huskies played seven non-conference games at home, garnering a reported 4511 fans, or roughly 644 per game. A high of 937 on Aug. 28, against ranked Rutgers on move-in weekend and a low of 507 in the non-conference finale against Fordham set the boundaries.
This season, UConn drew 709 in their home opener on Aug. 25, the first day of move-in weekend and 544 in their Sept. 7 victory over a powerful Arkansas team. That’s good for an average of 583 per game.
Last season, the Huskies benefitted from hosting local foes Northeastern, Boston University and Central Connecticut State. Stony Brook and Fordham only tripped up from New York and Rutgers came from not-too-far New Jersey on a weekend.
This year, the Yale game was on a Friday where the campus population was largely just arrived freshman and the Arkansas game went head-to-head with the season opener for the NFL and New England Patriots.
The student support, or lack thereof, is certainly quite discouraging.
Sunday’s contest against Colorado College, a weekend day game, will provide ample opportunity but with the Patriots having a 1 o’clock kick-off, who knows?
This was the Huskies’ third overtime game in as many games and fourth of the season, the previous two being their victory against Arkansas and draw against Fordham. They also tied Syracuse 1-1 earlier in the season.
Last season, the Huskies went to overtime only once, drawing SMU 0-0, making the sudden death experience rather new for this inexperienced squad.
Head coach Len Tsantiris named a couple reasons why:
“Giving goals and having young kids and not connecting well…not being able to score goals when we have the opportunities,” Tsantiris said.
Several games remain and perhaps, several more overtimes.
Matt Barresi is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.