The UConn women’s soccer team struggle this weekend, going 0-2 and losing by a combined score of 5-1. This was the last homestand of the year and also featured their last game at Morrone Stadium, which will be torn down after this season.
The Huskies faced off against the Memphis Tigers Thursday night, going into the game as heavy underdogs versus a Tigers team that went into the night 12-3 and in the top-25 for RPI.
The UConn defense was extremely strong for the first third of the game, not giving up a goal until the 35th minute when Memphis freshman forward Tanya Boychuk took advantage of a defensive and goalkeeping breakdown and rolled one into the back of the net.
It would not take long after the half for the Huskies to tie it up, when sophomore midfielder and leading goal scorer Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky found an opening and scored off an assist by junior midfielder Sofia Leone in the 53rd minute. This was DK’s eighth goal and Leone’s first assist of the season.
Head coach Margaret Rodriguez expressed her thoughts on how the team battled back, following halftime.
“Coming into the half only being down a goal, for us, it’s a piece of cake,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve been down 4-0 before, so our motivation, we just wanted to attack more and take advantage of the chances.”
However, the Tigers answered back with a goal of their own about 13 minutes later on a far strike by senior forward Marie Levasseur into the top right corner of the net. The Huskies were unable to find the equalizer despite having a very aggressive final 15 minutes of the game where they had multiple shots on goal, and the game finished at 2-1.
They played again on Sunday afternoon against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, marking the last game of the season at home and at Morrone forever. It was also senior day, where the Huskies honored their seniors Emily Costanzo, Kim Urbanek, Heidi Druehl, Liane Keegans and Elena Santos.
However, the high spirits quickly faded away, as the Huskies would go down 1-0 after just 6:13 when Tulsa forward Valiree Morris headed one off the crossbar and in off a Neha Igwe cross.
They would find themselves in a deeper hole shortly after, as in the 20th minute Morris would strike again, this time clanging one off the far-right post and in. The Hurricanes would score once more in the 74th minute, and the Huskies struggled to find their groove throughout the entire game.
Their best scoring chance came just a few minutes into the second half, when Sophia Danyko-Kulchycky skied one over an essentially open net after the Tulsa Keeper blocked a Yamilee Eveillard shot attempt.
“We should have put the first one away in the second half, right to start the half,” Rodriguez said. “That would have changed the game, it didn’t, and we just couldn’t muster up much after that.”
With the loss on Sunday, the Huskies were officially eliminated from American Athletic Conference postseason tournament contention.
UConn has two more games left in the season, first traveling to Philadelphia to take on Temple University on Thursday, Oct. 25, and then heading farther south for a make-up game versus East Carolina University on Sunday, Oct. 28 to close out the year.
Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.